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Miss Ida Langdon 

Cornell University Library 
DA 949.F55 1869 

Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

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"Truth is stranger than fiction." 


Printed and Bound 
in Ireland by :: :: 
M. H. Gill S- Son, 
.:• .:■ Ltd. :: :: 
JO Upper O'Connell 
Street :: :: Dublin 


The object which originally led me to commence 
researches in reference to Francis Higgins, "the 
Sham Squire," was to remove a misapprehension 
which pervaded almost the entire press of Great 
Britain and Ireland. 

For sixty-one years the name of the person who 
received the reward of £1000 for the betrayal of 
Lord Edward Fitzgerald remained an impenetrable 
mystery, although historians have devoted much 
time and labour in seeking to discover it. Among 
other revelations, recentl)' published in the " Corn- 
vvallis Papers," we find that "Francis Higgins, pro- 
prietor of the Freeman's Journal, was the person 
who gave all the information which led to the arrest 
and death of the Patriot Chief." In the following 
pages, however, it will appear that Higgins was not 
the actual Betrayer, but the employer of the Be- 
trayer, a much respected " gentleman," who, although 
in receipt for forty-five years of a pension — the price 
of Lord Edward's blood — was not suspected of the 

The Athenmuin, after justly reprobating some of 
tixe duplicity practised in 1798, observed : — 


"The Freeman's Journal was a patriotic print, and 
advocated the popular cause, and its proprietor earned 
blood-money by hunting down the unfortunate Lord Ed- 
ward Fitzgerald !" 

"Truth is strangfir than fiction," however; and 
the Freeman's Journal, when owned by Higgins, 
was not only the openly and notoriously subsidised 
organ of the then corrupt Government, but the most 
Tiolent assailant of the popular party in Ireland. 

The Times, noticing the United Irishmen, said — 

" They believed themselves to be embarked in a noble 
cause, and were cheered on the path that led to martyr- 
dom by the spirit-stirring eflfiisions of a press which felt 
their wrongs, shared their sentiments, and deplored their 
misfortunes. Alas ! the press that encouraged was no 
more free from the influence of Government than the 
advocate who defended them. Francis Higgins, proprietor 
of the Freeman's Journal, was the person who procured 
all the intelligence about Lord Edward Fitzgerald. When 
we reflect that the Freeman's Journal was a favourite 
organ of the United Irishmen,* that in that Ciipacity it 
must have received much secret and dangerous informa- 
tion, and that all this information was already bargained 
for and sold to the Irish Government before it was given, 
we can appreciate at once the refinement of its policy, and 
the snares and pitfalls among which the path of an Irish 
conspirator is laid." 

The misapprehension under which the paragraphs 
of the Times and Atkenwum were written, found a 
prompt echo in the Mail, Fation, Post, and other 
influential Irish journals. The Nation gave it to be 

• The organ of the United Irishmen was tlie Press. 

KlfAuE To THE SfiCOtft) EDItlOl^. V 

understood that Higgins, having become a secret 
traitor to his party, published " next morning thun- 
dering articles against the scoundrel who betrayed 
the illustrious patriot ; " and in a subsequent num- 
ber added : " What fouler treachery was ever prac- 
tised than the subornation of the journals and the 
writers in whom the people placed a mistaken con- 
fidence, whereby the unsuspecting victims were 
made to cram a mine for their own destruction !" 

These statements excited a considerable sensation. 
The Irish provincial press reiterated them, and lo- 
cally fanned the flame. The Meath People, after 
alluding to Higgins, said: "Shame, shame for evei 
on the recreant who had patriotism on his pen point, 
and treason to the country in his heart ! " I felt 
that this statement, if unrefuted, would soon find its 
way into the permanent page of history. A short 
letter from me, explanatory of the real facts, was 
gladly accepted by the conductor of the Freeman's 
Journal, who introduced it in the following wordgj 
less by one too flattering observation : — 

" We publish to-day a most interesting letter from 
William John Fitzpatrick. The sad fate of the gallant 
Lord Edward excited peculiar and permanent interest in 
the minds of all who prized chivalry and patriotism ; and 
when the ' Cornwallis Papers' disclosed the name of the 
Government agent who had tracked the noble chief to his 
doom, a host of reviewers, ignorant of the history of the 
time, and anxious only to cast a slur on the patriots of i 
bygone century, wrote beautiful romances about the be 
trayfir of Lord Edward. The reviewers, without exception, 
have represented Higgins as the confidant of the United 
Irishmen — as a ' patriotic' journalist, who sustained the 
popular party with his pen, and sold them for Castle gold 


Mr Fitzpatrick dissipates tlie romance by showing who 
and what Higgins was — that he was the public and un- 
disguised agent of the English Government; that his 
joTirnal, instead of being ' patriotic,' or even .friendly to 
the United Irishmen, was the constant vehicle of the most 
virulent assaults upon their character and motives ; that 
he was the ally and friend of the notorious John Scott ; 
that, as a journalist, he was the panegyrist of Sirr, and his 
colleague, Swan ; and that he never mentioned the name 
of an Irish patriot^of Lord Edward, O'Connor, Teeling, 
or their friends— without some such prefix as ' traitor,' 
' wretch,' ' conspirator,' ' incendiary,' while the Government 
that stimulated the revolt, in order to carry the Union, is 
lauded as ' able,' ' wise,' ' humane,' and ' lenient ! ' These 
events are now more than half a century old ; but, though 
nearly two generations have passed away since Higgins 
received his blood-money, it is, as justly remarked by Mr 
Fitzpatrick, gratifying to have direct evidence that the 
many high-minded and honourable men who were, from 
time to time, suspected for treachery to their chief, were 
■nnocent of his blood." 

Having, in the letter thus referred to by the Free- 
man, glanced rapidly at a few of the more startling 
incidents in the life of "the Sham Squii'e," which 
elicited expressions of surprise, and even of in- 
credulity, I conceived that I was called upon to give 
his history more in detail, and with a larger array 
of authorities than I had previously leisure or spac( 
to bring forward. From the original object of this 
book, I have in the present edition wandered, by 
pressing into the mosaic many curious morceaux 
illustrative of the history of the time ; whUe in the 
Appendix will be found some interesting and im- 


^.iitciJit memorabilia, which could not, without in- 
jury to artistic effect, appear in the text. 

Owing to the recently discovered Fenian con- 
spiracy, and the attention which it has excited, this 
work possesses, perhaps, more than ordinary in- 
terest; but, lest it should be supposed that I was 
influenced in my choice of the subject by its aptness 
to existing circumstances, I am bovind to add that 
the book was written, and in great part printed, 
before the Fenian movement obtained notoriety. 

In conclusion, I have only to observe that I feel 
che less hesitation in publishing these details, from 
the fact that the two marriages which Mr Higgins 
contracted produced no issua 

CiuiAOTD Manor, Stillohgan, Co. Dubub, 
H'uvetitber 23, 1835. 


A SECOND edition of this book having become ex 
hausted in a few weeks, I am called upon to prepare 
a third for the press. The matter is entirely recast, 
and some curious Addenda, not hitherto used, with 
valuable original documents, are now welded into the 
text. Among the latter I beg specially to direct 
attention to the historic importance of the Cope 
and Eejoiolds papers,* now first published, and which 
have been kindly placed at my disposal by Sir Wil- 
liam H. Cope, Bart. 

Since the publication of this book, I found to 
my surprise that I had got a few readers so illo- 
gical as to assume, first — that because I condemn 
the Government of a bygone century, I am neces- 
sarily opposed to the present Government; and 
secondly, that my sympathies are with the Kevolu- 
tionists of '98. The policy of the present Govern- 
mtnt presents a thorough contrast to that of theii 
remote predecessors, and in my opinion merits sup- 
poi-t. As to the rebellion of '98 I merely say, with 
the reigning premier, Earl Russell, that " it was 
wickedly provoked, rashly begun, and crueUy 
'!rushed;"i" nor do 1 go so far as the cabinel 

vjee AppHudix, pp. 2"27-'247. 
t Preface to T\Ioore'B Memoirs, vol. i,, p. 18, 


minister, Lord Holland, who, in his " Memoirs of the 
Whig Party," writes: — "More than twenty years 
have now passed away. Many of my political opi- 
nions are softened — my predilections for some men 
weakened, my prejudices against others removed ; hiA 
my approbation of Lord Edward Fitzgerald's actions 
remains unaltered and unshaken. His countiy waf 
bleeding under one of the hardest tyrannies that out 
times have witinissed.''' 

The true moral wliich I have sought to incul- 
cate has been so accurately perceived by an old 
and influential journal, Saunders's News Letter, that 
I am tempted to quote a passage or two for the 
behoof of the illogical few to whom T have referred : 
— " When," asks this journal, " will the people 
learn that secret confederacies can do no good, 
that informers will always be found to betray them, 
and that no plot which deals in signs and ^signals, 
can enlist the sympathy of those whose co-operation 
would be really valuable? The very interesting 
work of Mr Fitzpatrick, recently published, ' The 
Sham Squire and the Informers of 1798,' gives some 
striking instances of the impossibility of treasonable 
associations being secure from the spy and the false 
companion, and the wider the conspiracy, the greater 

the certainty of detection 

There never yet was an illegal secret confederac] 
which had not members ready to betray their asso- 
ciates, either to purchase safety, or to make a profit 
for themselves." 

But there is another class of readers who, with- 
out holding either of the iUogieal objections just 
noticed, entertain an opinion of this book equally 

pueface to the third edition. 

erroneous. They assume that I have sought to dis- 
honour Ireland by showing it as always abounding 
in spies, betrayers, &c. : but they can have hardly 
read the emphatic passages with which the volume 
closes.* I have been hitherto noted for embalming 
the memory of some of Ireland's worthies ; + and it 
is surely quite consistent and patriotic to stigmatise 
the representatives of a perfectly opposite character. 
This course, moreover, serves to show my historic 
impartiality. Contrasts are often agreeable and useful 
."Look upon this picture and on this," says Shake- 
speare. Plutarch, the prince of biographers and moral 
philosophers, in his introduction to the life of Deme- 
trius Poliorcites and another person remarkable for his 
vices, says . "We shall behold and imitate the virtu- 
ous with greater attention, if we be not unacquainted 
with the characters of the vicious and the infamous." 
Portraits of unscrupulous statesmen and politicians 
are no doubt introduced for the better illustration 
of the eventful epoch in question ; but the sketches 
are by no means confined to Irishmen. 

* See pp. 327-329. 

t The Caledonian Mercury, in noticing the life o£ Biahop Doyle 
said : — " Mr Fitzpatrick has a commendable patriotic desire to do 
and have justice done to the more eminent of Ireland's eons. He 
entertains the belief that Ireland, unlike most other nations, idol- 
ises their great men p'hile they live, and neglects their memory 
when they are dead ; ne cannot help regretting that neither by 
'storied urn or monumental bust,' nor in the written pages of tliu 
world's history, have illustrious Celts received that measure of jus- 
tice and honour to which they are entitled; he has, therefore, in 
these, aa in previous volumes, furnished satisfactory evidence of 
his own determination, if not to do the whole work required, at least 
to lay the foundation upon which the temple of Irish worth and 
genius may be reared, and its niches becomingly filled. For this he m 
autitled to the gratitude of every true patriot." 



The great Aiinesley 'iriaL — Wonderful Adventures. — Murder 
of Patiick Higgins. — Early Struggles and Stratagems of 
the Sham Squire. — How to Catch an Heiress. — AB is nut 
Gold that Glitters. — A Jec'iit Outwitted. — Judge Robin- 
son. — John Philpot Curran.-— The Black Dog Prison. — 
Uprise of the Sham Squire. — Loid Chief-Justice Clonmel. 
— Sham Statesmen as well as Sham Squires.— Irish Ad- 
ministrations of Lord Temple and the Duke of Rutland. — 
The Beautiful Duchess. — Anecdotes, .... 1 


PeculaHon. — The Press Subsidised aud Debauched.— How to 
get up an Ovation for an Unpopular Viceroy. — Lord Buck- 
ingham. ^Judges Revel at the B.oard of the Sham Squire. 
— A Pandemonium Unveiled. — Lord Avonmore. — A Great 
Struggle. — The Regency. — Peerages Sold. — John Magee. 
— Lord Carhampton. — Mrs Lewellyn. — Squibs and Lam- 
poons. — The Old Four Courts in Dublin. — Dr Houlton.— 
The Duke of Wellington on Bribing the Irish Press, , 31 


Lord Clonmel and the Fiats. — Richard Daly. — Persecution of 
Magee. — ^A Strong Bar. — Caldbeck, Duigenan, and Kgan.— 
The Volunteers to the Rescue. — Hamilton Rowan. — Ar- 
tist Arrested for Caricaturing " the Sham." — A neat Stroke 
of Vengeance. — More Squibs. — Ladies Clonmel and Bar- 
rington. — The Gambling Hell. — Inef&ciency of the Police. 
— Magisterial Delinquencies Exposed. — Watchmen and 
Watches. — ^Mr Gonne's Chronometer. — Juggling Judges. 
— Outrages in the Face of Day. — Ladies unable to Walk 
the Streets, . , , * SS 




Magee's Vengeance on Lord Clonmel. — Hely Hutchinson. — 
Lord Clare.— The Gods of Crow Street.— Renewed Effort 
to Muzzle Magee.— Lettres de Cachet in Ireland.— Sei- 
zures. — George Ponsonby and Arthur Browne. — Lord Clon- 
mel crushed. — His Dying Confession. — Extracts from his 
Unpublished Diary.— Deserted by the Sham Squire.- 
Origin of his wealth. — More Turpitude, ... 86 


Hairbreadth Escapes of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. — Testi- 
mony of Lords Holland and Byrou. — A Dark Picture of 
Oppression. — Moira House. — Presence of Mind. — Revolt- 
ing Trsaohery. — Arrest of Lord Edward. — ^Majors Sirr 
and Swan. — Death of Captain Ryan. — Attempted Rescue. 
— Edward Rattigan. — General Lawless. — Lady Louisa 
ConoUy. — Obduracy of Lord Camden. — Death of Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald, 106 


A Secret well Kept.— The " Setter" of Lord Edward Traced at 
Last. — Striking in the Dark. — Roman Catholic Barristers 
Pensioned. — A Lesson of Caution. — Letter to the Author 
from Rev. John Featherston Haugh. — Just Debts Paid 
with Wages of Dishonour. — Secret Service Money. — An 
Ally of "the Sham's" Analysed. — What were the Secret 
Services of Francis Magan, Barrister-at-law ? — Shrouded 
Secrets Opened, ........ 120 


Was Higgins Guiltless of Oliver Bond's Blood?— Walter Cox. — 
Reynolds the Informer. — Insatiable Appetite for Blood- 
money. — William Cope. — A Dark and Painful Mystery. — 
Lord Wycombe Wallis in the Footsteps of Lord Edward 
Fitzgerald, and Spies Follow in the Footsteps of Lord 
Wycombe, . in 


Effort of Conscience to Vindicate its Authority. — Last Will 
and Testament of the Sham Squire. — A Tempest Roars 
Round his Death-bed. — Kilbarrack Churchyard. — A Touch- 
ing Epitaph. — Kesurreotionists. — The Dead Watchers.— 
The Sham Squire's Tomb Insulted and Broken. — Hia Be- 
quests, 15] 






Baiatariana, 163 

Toping Seventy Years ago, 108 

Roi^ Lord Buckingham Punished Jephson and Purchased Jebb, 172 

Slang Satires on Sliamado and his Friends, . , . 1 73 

The Irish Yeomanry in 1798, . . . . 178 

Mr Maceady's Statement, .... , . 181 

Jemmy O'Brien, 185 

General Lawless, 186 

Loid Edward Fitzgerald 189 

John and Henry Sheares, 190 

The Reign of Terror in Ireland, . .... 192 

General Cookburn's " Step-ladder," . . . 193 

Lord Chancellor Clare, 195 

The Eight Hon. John Foster, 197 

Archbishop Agar — Lord Castlereagh, .... 198 
The Right Hon. John Beresford — Mr Secretary Cooke — 

The Marquis of Drogheda, 201 

Lord Glentworth — Lord Carhampton — John Claudius 

Beresford, 202 

Lord Enniskillen — Mr Lees — Lord Carleton, . . 203 

Sexton Perry, . . . 204 

The Hon. Isaac Corry — The Marquis of Waterford, , 205 

Lord Annesley — Lord De Blaquire, .... 206 

Lord Londonderry, 207 

LordNorbnry, . . 208 

Lord Kiugsborough, 209 

Lord Downshire, 210 

Lord Dillon — Lord Ashtown, 211 

Bishop O'Beime, 212 

Bishop Beresford— Mr Alexander, .... 216 



Sir ThoB, Judkin FitzgeraM, ... . 217 

Major Sirr, 2JS 

Major Swan — Major Sandye, ..... 221 

John Giffard, 222 

Lieutenant Hepensfcall, 223 

Alexander Knox, 225 

Captain Armstrong, ....... 226 

Lord Camden, 227 

fteynolds the Informer and Mr William Cope, . . . 227 
" Deeds relating to Higgins, Magan, and Others, Preserved 

in the Registry Office, Dublin," 246 

MacNally and Turner, 248 

John Pollock, ... 263 

Walter Cox— Dr Brenuan, 268 

Abstraction of Papers from the Castle Archives, . . 263 
MacGuickan, the Treacherous Attorney to the United Irish- 
men, ........ . 271 

Treason in Ulster — Houlton, ...... 268 

Duggan the Informer, 271 

Cockaigne the English Spy, 286 

jir Jonah Barrington, ....... 289 

Emmet's Insurrection, ....,,, 295 

The Mystery enshrouding Emmet's Grave, . . . 298 

The Sham Squire's Bequests, 301 

Judge Robert Johnson, . 303 

O'ConneU " a United Irishman," 307 

The Rebellion in Wioklow — Fusilade at Dunlavin, . . 308 

Reminiscences of the Rebellion, ..... 313 

The Rebellion in Kildare, .... . . 32] 

Projected Rebellion in Cork — Secret Services of Father Barry, 324 

Informers not Confined to Ireland, .... 327 

Supplemental Note aliout Mr Waller and Miss Monro, . S3] 

* Posthnmons Papers, of Brother Luke CuUen — Croppy 

Biddy, *. 

* The Rebellion in Antrim — Mr. Dickey's Narrative, 

* The Rebellion in Loutb — Dr. Conlan, the Informer, 

* Sir T. Jndldn Fitzgerald — Further Revelations, 

* False Trustees, 

* Alexander Knox — Curious Correspondence, 
Dolly Monroe, 

* The O'Hara Family on the " Sham Squire," 
Informers Everywhere, .... 



The papers indicated by an asterisk now appear for tba fii'st 



The great Annesley TriaL — Wonderful Adventures. — Murder ol 
Patrick Higgins. — Early Struggles and Stratagems of the Sham 
Squire. — How to Catch an Heiress. — All is not Gold that 
Glitters. — A Jesuit Outwitted. — Moral, that clergymen should 
be slow in introducing suitors without inquiry. — Judge Robin- 
son. — John Philpot Curran. — The Black Dog Prison. — Upris4 
of the Sham Squire. — Lord Chief-Justice Clonmel. — Sham 
Statesmen as well as Sham Squires. — Irish Administrations of 
Lord Temple and the Duke of Rutland. — The Beautiful Duchess. 
— Anecdotes. 

The great Annesley trial, which took place at Dublin 
in November 1743, disclosed a most exciting episode 
in the romance of history. A few of its salient 
points are subjoined for the better illustration of our 
narrative, with which, as will be seen, the trial has 
some connexion. 

A son was boi'n to Lord and Lady Altham of Dun- 
maine, in the county of Wexford ; but they lived un- 
happily together, and the lady, having been turned 
adrift on the world, at last died a victim to disease 
dnd poverty. James Annesley, her infant son, was 
intrusted by Lord Altham to the charge of a woman 
named Juggy Landy, who lived in a wretched hut 
near Dunmuino. Lord Altham, after a few years, 
removed with his son to Dublin, where he formed a 
connexion with a Miss Kennedy, whom he tried to 
introduce tc society m his wife. This woman, who 


wielded considerable influence over Lord Altham, 
succeeded in driving James Annesley from the 
paternal roof. He became a houseless wanderer 
through the streets of Dublin, and, as we learn, pro- 
cured a scanty subsistence " by running of errandf 
and holding horses." 

In order to facilitate a loan of money, which Lord 
AJtham, conjointly with his brother, was induced to 
borrow on his reversionary interest in the estates of 
Lord Anglesey, to whom he was heir-at-law, young 
Annesley was alleged to be dead. On the death of 
Lord Altham, his brother attended the funeral as chief 
mourner, and assumed the title of Baron Altham ; but 
when he claimed to have this title registered he was 
refused by the Ulster king-at-arms " on account of 
his nephew's being reported still alive, and for want 
^f the honorary fees." " Ultimately, however, by 
means which are stated to have been ' well known 
and obvious,' he succeeded in procuring his regis- 

" But there was another and a more sincere mourner 
at the funeral of Lord Altham than the successful in- 
heritor of his title. A poor boy of twelve years of age, 
half naked, bareheaded and barefooted, wept over his 
father's grave."* Young Annesley was speedily re- 
cognised by his uncle, and forcibly driven from the 
place. The latter soon after instituted a series of daring 
attempts to get so troublesome an obstacle to his ambi- 
tion and peace of mind out of the way. Many efforts 
made to kidnap the boy were foiled by the prowess of 
a humane butcher, who took him under his protec- 
tion ; and on one occasion this man, by sheer strength 
of muscle, and a stout shillelah, successfully resisted 
the united efforts of lialf a dozen emissaries despatched 
by Lord Altham. In an unguarded moment, how- 
ever, Annesley was seized in the street, and dragged 
«n boa,rd a vessel in the Liffey, which sailed for 

nlleman's Magaiine, vol. xiv., p. 39. 


America, where the boy was apprenticed as a plan- 
tation slave, and in which capacity he remained for 
thirteen years. Meanwhile the uncle, on the demise 
of Lord Anglesey, succeeded to his title and vast 
estates. The boy made many attempts to escape, and 
on one occasion nearly lost his life from the effects of 
several stabs he received from the negro sentinels. 
The daughter of a slave-driver became passionately 
attached to him; he, however, failed to reciprocate her 
passion; and at last escaped to Jamaica, where he 
volunteered as a sailor on board a man-of-war. He 
was identified by some of the officers ; and Admiral 
Vernon, who commanded the fleet, wrote home an 
account of the case to the then Prime Minister, sup- 
plied Annesley with money, and treated him with the 
respect due to his rank. As soon as these matters 
reached the ears of Lord Anglesey, he left no efibrt 
untried to maintain possession of his usurped title and 
wealth; and "the most eminent lawyers within the 
English and Irish bars were retained to defend a 
cause, the prosecution of which was not as yet even 
threatened." On Annesle/s arrival in Dublin, "seve- 
ral servants who had lived with his father came from 
the country to see him. They knew him at first sight, 
and fell on their knees to thank Heaven for his pre- 
servation ; embraced his .legs, and shed tears of joy for 
his return." 

Lor ' Anglesey proposed a compromise with Annes- 
ley, but an unexpected incident occurred which the 
usurper resolved to turn to good account, and thus 
avoid the expense of an arrangement. A fowling- 
piece exploded accidentally in Annesley's hand, and 
killed a man to whom he owed no enmity. Lord 
Altham exerted his influence to the uttermost, both on 
the inquest and at the trial, in endeavouring to get his 
nephew adjudged guilty of wilful murder. He sat 
with the judges on the bench, browbeat the witnesses, 
and laboured to entrap them into unguarded admis- 

i THE SHAM syaiRE Ailt> 

sions. Although Lord Altham expended ofle thousand 
pounds'on the prosecution, Annesley was triumphantly 

A still more memorable trial, in which James 
Annesley was plaintiff, and Richard, Eaii of Anglesey, 
defendant, was heard before the Chief-Justice and 
Barons of the Exchequer, on November 11, 1743, and 
lasted nearly a fortnight. A number of witnesses in 
the interest of Lord Anglesey were examined, with 
the unworthy object of attempting to prove Annesley 
illegitimate ; but although the jury found for him, he 
failed to recover his title and property, as the power- 
ful interest of Lord Anglesey succeeded in procuring 
a writ of error, which set aside the verdict. Before a 
new trial could be brought on Annesley died without 
issue, and his uncle remained in undisturbed posses- 
sion of the title and estates.f 

Patrick Higgins, father of the " Sham Squire," wa."? 
an attorney's clerk, who had been sent into the country 
to coUect evidence for the trial. " He arrived in Dub- 
lin from the country late on a winter's night," writes a 
correspondent, " and was known to have in his posses- 
sion some valuable papers relating to the gTcat Annes- 
ley case, and it is supposed that he was waylaid, 
murdered, and disposed of by parties interested in 
getting possession of those papers." J 

That worth frequently fails to meet its deserts in 
this life, and that chicane too often makes the fortune 
of the perpetrator, is painfuUy evidenced in the his- 
tories of James Annesley and Francis Higgins. 

In the year 1754, a bare-legged boy, with cunning 

* For full details see Howel's State Trials. 15 Geo. II., 1742, 
»ol. xvii., pp. 1093-1139. 

+ Gentleman's Magazine^ vol. xiv., pp. 39-42. Sir Walter Scot! 
is alleged to have taken this history as the groundivork of " Guy 
Uannering," although lie has not admitted it in his explanatory 
introduction to th.-it novel. See Lockhart's Life of Scott, chapter 
icxxiv. (edition 1845.) 

■" Letterof J. Curran, E.s<|.,<>fl Ivathmlnes, November 22, 1865. 


eyes, might have been seen carrying pewter quarts in 
I'ishamble Street,* Dublin, which was then a popular 
locality, owing to the continual ridottos, concerts, and 
feats of magic, which made the old Music Hall an 
object of attraction. This boy became the subse- 
quently influential Justice Higgins, or, as he was more 
frequently styled, the Sham Squire. Fishamble 
Street is recorded as the scene of his debut by John 
Magee, in 1789 ; and this account we find corroborated 
by a traditional anecdote of Mr E , whose grand- 
mother often told him that she remembered he? 
father, Mr Smith, of Fishamble Street, employing 
Higgins, " a bare-footed, red-haired boy," to sweep 
the flags in front of his door. 

Our adventurer was the only survivor of a large 
family of brothers and sisters, the children of Patrick 
and Mary Higgins,t wlio are said to have migrated 
from Downpatrick. J He himself was born in a cellat 
in Dublin, and while yet of tender years became suc- 
cessively "errand-boy, shoe-black, and waiter in a 
porter house." 

The number of times wliich Higgins used his 
broom, or shouldered pewter pots, it would be unin- 
teresting to enumerate, and improfitable to record. 
Passing over a few years occupied in this way, Mr 
Higgins is re-introduced to the reader, discharging his 
duties as a " hackney writing clerk" in the ofiice of 
Daniel Bourne, attorney-at-law, Patrick's Close, Dub- 
lin. § He was born a Roman Catholic, but he had 
now read his recantation, as appears from the Official 
Register of Conversions, preserved in the Eecord 
Tower, Dublin Castle. ||- Nevertheless, he failed to 
rise in the social scale. Having become a perfect 

• Dublin Evening Post, No. 1789. 

+ Will of Francis Higgins, Prerogative Court, Dublin. 

t Dublin Evening Post, No. 1837. § Ibid., No. 1765. 

II Tbis record, which seems unknown to most Irish biographers, 
contains the names of Barry Yelverton, afterwards Lord Avonmore, 
liconard MacNally, and sevu-al other men of mark. Thanks to Sir 


master of scrivenery, a strong temptation smote him 
to turn his talent for caligraphy to some more sub- 
stantial account than £16 per annum, the general 
salary of hackney wilting clerks in those days * 
Higgins had great ambition, but without money and 
connexion he was powerless. Accordingly, to gain 
these ends, we find him in 1766 forging, with his 
cunning brain and ready hand, a series of legal in- 
struments, purporting to show that he was not only 
a man of large landed property, but in the enjoyment 
of an office of some importance under Government. 
Trasting to his tact for complete success, Higgins, 
full of daring, sought Father Shortall, and, on his 
Imees, hypocritically declared himself a convert to the 
Roman Catholic Church. The iron pressure of the 
penal code had not then received its first relaxation; 
Catholics were daily conforming to the Establish- 
ment; Father Shortall regarded Mr Higgins's case 
as a very interesting and touching one, and he affec- 
tionately received the convert squire into the heaving 
bosom of the suffering Churcli of Ireland. "And 
now, holy father," said the neophyte, " I must implore 
of you to keep mj"^ conversion secret. My parent has 
got a property of £3000 a year, and if this matter 
transpires I shall be disinherited." The good pastor 
assured him that he would be as silent as the gi'ave; 
he gave him his blessing, and Higgins retired, hug- 
ging himself on his dexterity, and offering mental 
congi-atulations on the prospect that began to open to 
Ms future success. When this religious intercourse 
had continued for some time, Higgins told his spiri- 
tual adviser that the ease of his soul was such as in- 
duced him humbly to hope that the Almighty had 
accepted the sincerity of his repentance. " If any- 

Bemajd Burke, the courteous and efficient custodian of the records, 
many valuahle MSS. are constantly turning up, to tho great satis- 
faction of historical students. 

* Paulhxer's Dv-hlin /oiirnal, January 24, 1767. 

niii iNFcriiMEKS OF '98. 7 

thing be now wanting to my complete happiness," 
he added " it is an amiable wife of the ti-ue religion, 
whose bright example will serve to keep my frail 
resolutions firm ; as to the amount of fortune, it is an 
object of little or no consideration, for, as you are 
Rware, my means will be ample."* His engaging 
manner won the heart of Father Shortall, who re- 
solved and avowed to befriend him as far as lay in 
his power. Duped by the hypocrisy of our adven- 
turer, the unsuspecting priest introduced him to the 
family of an eminent Catholic merchant, named 

To strengthen his footing, Higgins ordered some 
goods from Mr Archer, and requested that they 
might be sent to 76 Stephen's Green, the house of 
his uncle, the then celebrated Counsellor Harward, 
M.P. Mr Archer treated his visitor with the respect 
due to the nephew and, as it seemed, the heir pre- 
sumptive of that eminent person. The approach to 
deformity of Higgins's person had made Miss Archer 
shrink from his attentions ; but her parents, who re- 
joiced at the prospect of an alliance so apparently 
advantageous, sternly oveiTuled their daughters re- 
luctance. The intimacy gradually grew. Higgins 
accompanied Mr Archer and his daughter on a 
country excursion : seated in a noddy, they returned 
to town through Stephen's Green, and in passing Mr 
Harward's house, Higgins in a loud tone expressed a 
hope to some person at the door that his uncle's 
health continued to convalesce.f When too late Mr 
Archer discovei-ed that no possible relationship ex- 
isted between" his hopeful son-in-law and the old coun- 

It is also traditionally stated that Higgins turned 
to profitable account an intimacy which he had 

* Sketches of Irish Political Characters. By Henry Mao 
D iiigall, M,A., T.C.D. Lend. 1799, p. 182. 

t Tvaditiop consmunicated by tlie late Vers Eev. Or Yore. 


formed with the servants of one of the judges.^ His 
lordship having gone on circuit, a perfect Migh 
Life Below Stairs" was performed m his absence ; 
and Higgins, to promote the progress of his scheme, 
succeeded in persuading his friend, the coachman, to 
drive him to a few places in the judicial carriage. 

The imposture was too well planned to fail ; hut 
let us allow the heart-broken father to tell the tragic 
tale in his own words : — 

* County of the City \ The examination of William Archer, 
of Dublin, to wit, j ^f Dublin, merchant, who, being duly 
sworn and examined, saith, that on the 9th day of Novem- 
ber [1766] last, one Francis Higgins, who this examinant 
now hears and believes to be a common hackney writing 
clerk, came to the house of this examinant in company 
with a clergyman of the Church of Eome,* and was intro- 
duced as a man possessing lands in the county of Down, 
to the amount of ^£250 per annum, which he, the said 
Francis Higgins, pretended to this examinant, in order to 
deceive and cheat him ; and also that he was in consider- 
able employ in the revenue ; and that he was entitled to a 
large property on the death of Wilham Harward, Esq., 
who the said Higgins alleged was his guardian, and had 

* We are indebted to John Cornelius O'Callaghan, Esq., author of 
" The Green Book," and historian of " The Irish Brigades in the 
Service of France," for the following tradition, which he has oblig- 
ingly taken down from the lips of an octogenarian relative: — " The 
Rev. Mr Shortall (I believe a Jesuit) became acquainted with Hig- 
gins through the medium of religion; the fellow having pretended 
to become a convert to the Catholic Church, and even so zealous a 
one as to confess himself every Saturday to that gentleman, in 
order to receive the Blessed Sacrament the following day ! This 
having gone on for eome time, Mr Shortall formed a high opinion 
of Higgins, and spoke of him in such terms to the parents of the 
young lady he was designing to marry, that they were proportion- 
ately influenced in his favour. After the 'fatal marriage' Mr 
Shortall was sent to Cork, and was intr,>duc*:d there to my mater- 
nal grandmother and her sisters, to whom Le used to mention how 
bitterly he regretted having been so imposed upon. The storv 
made such an impression on my mother as a child, that shortlv 
after she came to Dublin, she went to Me the 'Sham Squire's' 
loRib, in Kilbarrack churchyard " * 


adopted him. In a few d.ij-s after this introduction (dur- 
ing which time he paid his addresses to Miss Mary Anne 
Archer, the daughter of this examinant) he produced a 
state of a case, all of his own handwriting, saying, that he 
was entitled to the lands of Ballyveabeg, Islang, Ballahan- 
era, and Dansfort, in the county of Down ; and the more 
effectually to deceive and cheat this examinant and his 
daughter, Higgins had at the foot thereof obtained the 
legal opinion of the said WiUiam Harward, Esq., that he 
was entitled to said lands under a will mentioned to be 
made in said case. Higgins, in order to deceive this exa- 
minant, and to induce him to consent to a marriage vsdth 
his daughter, agreed to settle £1500 oh her, and informed 
examinant that if said marriage were not speedily per- 
formed, his guardian would force him to take the oath to 
qualify him to become an attorney, which he could not 
think of, as he pretended to be of the contrary opinion ; 
and that as to the title-deeds of said lands, he could not 
then come at them, being lodged, as he pretended, with 
WiUiam Harward, Esq. But that if examinant thought 
proper, he would open a, window in William Harward's 
house, in order to come at said deeds, let what would be 
the consequences. Examinant was advised not to insist 
on said measure, and therefore waived, it ; and relying on 
the many assertions and representations of the said Hig- 
gins, and of his being a person of consideration and pro- 
perty, and particularly having great confidence in the opi- 
nion of so eminent a lawyer as William Harward, this 
examinant having found on inquiry the same was the 
handwriting of Harward, agreed to give Higgins £600 as 
a portion with examin ant's daughter, and one half of thL-s 
examinant's substance at his death, which he believes may 
amount to a considerable sum, and executed writings for 
the performance of said agreement. And upon said mar- 
riage Higgins perfected a deed, and thereby agreed to set- 
tle the lands above mentioned on the issue of said marriage^ 
together with £1500 on examinant's daughter. Soon 
after the marriage, the examinant being informed of the 
fraud, he made inquiries into the matters so represented 
by the said Higgins to facilitate said fraud, and the exami- 
nant foupd thg-t there wa^ not the le^t coloiir of truth in 


any of the pretensions or suggestions so made by Higgms 
and that he was not entitled to a foot of land, either in 
this kingdom or elsewhere, nor of any personal property, 
nor hath he any employment in the revenue or otherwise. 
Notwithstanding the repeated assurances of the said Hig- 
gins, and the said several pretences to his being a person 
of fortune or of business, he now appears to be a person of 
low and indigent circumstances, of infamous life and char- 
acter," and that he supported himself by the craft of a 
cheat and impostor; nor is the said William Harward 
either guardian or any way related to Higgins, as this ex- 
aminant is informed and verily believes." 

Mr Harward, whose name has been frequently 
mentioned, became a member of the Irish Bar in 
Michaelmas Term, 1718, and was the contemporary 
of Malone, Dennis, Lord Tracton, and Mr Fitzgibbon, 
father of Lord Clare, and sat for some years in the 
Irish Parliament. At the period when Higgins took 
such strange liberties witli his name, Mr Harward 
was in an infirm state of health ; he died, childless, 
in 1772.t 

A person named Francis Higgins really held an ap- 

* From a contemporary publication, " Irish Political Characters,' 
p. 180, we learn that when Higgins acted as an attorney's clerk his 
talents were not confined exclusively to the desk. " His master's 
pleasures found an attentive minister in Sham, and Sham found 
additional profits in his master's pleasures." 

+ The biographer of Charlemont mentions Harward as " deservedly 
celebrated for the acuteness of his understanding, his pleasantry, 
and bis original wit." He would seem, indeed, to have been fonder 
of Joe Miller than of Bl.^ckstone. We fiind the following anecdote 
b the Life of Edmund Malone : — " Harward, the Irish lawyer, with 
the help of a great brofiue, a peculiar cough, or long h-e-m, was 
sometimes happy in a retort, Harward had read a great deal of 
law, but it was all a confused mass ; he had little judgment. Having, 
however, made one of his best harangues, and stated, as he usually 
Sid, a great deal of doubtful law, which yet he thought very sound. 
Lord Chief-Justice Clayton, who, though a most ignorant boor, had 
got the common black-letter of Westminster Hall pretty ready, as 
soon as Harward had done, exclaimed, ' You don't suppose, Mr Har- 
ward, that I take this to be law ?' ' Indeed, my lord,' replied Hai* 
ward, vvith his usual shrug aqd cough, ' I don't suppose you do ! ' " 


pointment in the revenue, and our adventurer availed 
himself of the coincidence in carrying out his impos- 
ture. In the Freeman's Journal of October 21, 1766, 
we read: — "Mr Francis Higgias, of the Custom- 
house, * to Miss Anne Gore, of St Stephen's Green, 
an accomplished young lady with a handsome for- 

The following is a copy of the true bill found by 
the grand jury against Higgins : — 

" The jurors for our Lord the King, upon their oath, say 
that Francis Higgins, of Dublin, yeoman, being a person of 
evil name, fame, and dishonest conversation, and a common 
deceiver and cheat of the liege subjects of our said Lord, 
and not minding to gain his livelihood by truth and honest 
labour, but devising to cheat, cozen, and defraud William 
Archer of his moneys, fortune, and substance, for support 
of the profligate Ufe of him, the said Francis Higgins, and 
with intent to obtain Mary Anne Archer in marriage, and 
to aggrieve, impoverish, and ruin her, and with intent to 
impoverish the said William Archer, his wife, and all his 
fsimily, by wicked, false, and deceitful pretences, on the 
19th November, in the seventh year of the reign of King 
George III., and on divers other days and times, with force 
and arms, at Dublin, in the parish of St Michael, the more 
fully to complete and perpetrate the said wicked intentions 
and contrivances, did fraudulently pretend to the said 
William Archer that — [here the facts are again recited in 
detail.] The said F. Higgins, by the same wicked pre- 
tences, procured Mary Anne Archer to be given in mar- 
riage to him, to the great damage of the said William 
Archer, to the great discomfort, prejudice, injury, and dis- 
quiet of mi]id of the said Mary Anne and the rest of the 
family, to the evil example of all others, and against the 
peace of our said Lord the King, his crown and dignity." 

There is a painfully-interesting episode connected 
with this imposture which the foregoing documents 

» The old Custom-bouse Btoo<J on tjjo site now opcupied by Wal 
Ungton Quay. 


do not tell, ami \vc give it on the authority ot the late 
venerable divine, Dr Yore, who was specially con- 
nected with the locality: As soon as the marriage 
between Higgins and Miss Archer had been solem- 
nised, he brought her to some lodgings at Lucan. 
The bride, after a short matrimonial experience, found 
that Higgins was by no means a desirable husband ; 
and having watched her opportunity to escape, fled, 
with almost maniac wildness, to Dublin. Higgins 
gave chase, and came in sight just as the poor gir/ 
had reached her father's house. It was the dawn ot 
morning, and her parents had not yet risen ; but she 
screamed [)iteously at the street door, and Mrs Ar- 
cher, in her night-dress, got up and opened it. The 
affrighted girl had no sooner rushed through the 
Ihreshold than Higgins came violently up, and en- 
deavoured to push the door open. Mrs Archer re 
sisted. She placed lier arms across the ample iron 
sockets which had been formed for the reception of 
a wooden bolt. Higgins applied his strength. Mrs 
Archer cried wildly for relief and mercy ; but her 
son-in-law disregarded the appeal, and continued to 
force the door with such violence that Mrs Archer's 
arm was crushed in two. 

On the informations being sworn, Higgins was 
committed to prison. We read that on January 9, 
1767, the citizens of Dublin witnessed his procession 
from Newgate, in Cutpurse Row, to the Tholsel, or 
Sessions' House, at Chiist Church Place, then known 
afi Skinner's Eow.* 

The Hon. Christopher Robinson, Second Justice 
of the King's Bench, tried the case. It was unusual 
in those days to report ordinary law proceedings; 
and there is no published record of the trial beyond 
three or four lines. But the case excited so strong 
a sensation that its leading details are still tradition 
ally preserved among several respectable families 

' Dublin Evening P<^, No. 1829. 


Faulhiei's Journal of the day records: — "'At an 
»djournment of the Quarter Sessions, held at the 
rholsel, Januaiy 9, 1767, Francis Higgins was tried 
and found guilty of several misdemeanours."* At 
the commission of oyer and terminer following, we 
find that Higgins stood his trial for another offence 
committed subsequent to his conviction in the case 
of Miss Archer. The leniency of the punishment 
inflicted on Higgins, which permitted him to re- 
gain his liberty within a few weeks after having 
been found guilty of " several misdemeanours, will 
not fail to surprise the reader. But a violent hatred 
of Popery prevailed at that time ; and even the 
bench of justice often seemed to rejoice when it had 
the power to give a rebuff to those who had re- 
jected the allurements of Protestantism, and clung 
(vith fidelity to the oppressed Church. + With refer- 
rnce to the Archer case, we find that Judge Eobinson 

" Faulkner's Dublin Journal, No. 4144. 

•|- About 1759, Laurence Saul, of Saul's Court, Fishamble Street, 
a wealthy Catholic distiller, was prosecuted for having harboured 
a young lady who had sought refuge in his house to avoid being 
compelled by her friends to conform to the Established Church. 
The Lord Chancellor, in the course of this trial, declared that the 
law did not presume an Irish Papist existed in the kingdom ! 
Saul, writing to Charles O'Conor, says : — " Since there is not 
the least prospect of such a relaxation of the penal laws as would 
■aducfc one Roman Catholic to tarry in this place of bondage, who 
can purchase a settlement in some other land where freedom and 
security of property can be obtained, will you condemn nie for 
saying, that if I cannot be one of the first, I will not be one of the 
last to take flight?" Saul then bemoans the hard necessity of 
quitting for ever friends, relatives, and an ancient patrimony at a 
time of life when nature had far advanced in its decline, and his 
constitution by constant mental exercise was much impaired, to 
retire to some dreary clime, there to play the schoolboy again, to 
learn the language, laws, and institutions of the country, to makj 
new friends — in short, to begin the world anew. " But," he adds, 
" when religion dictates, and prudence points out the only way to 
preserve posterity from temptation and perdition, I feel this con- 
sideration predominating over all others. I am resolved, as soon as 
possible, to sell out, and to expatriate." Saul retired to Fiance, 
and died there in 176S. — Gilbert's Dublin; Memoirs of Charles 


ill his charge to the jury observed, that Higgins could 
not be heavily punished for attempting false pre- 
tences, and flying under false colours in the family of 
Mr Archer, inasmuch as, if tLey believed the prisoner 
at the bar to be the important personage which he 
represented himself, their own conduct presented a 
deception in not acquainting the prisoner's pretended 
guardian and uncle with the matrimonial inten- 
tions, which, unknown to his family, he entertained. 
" Gentlemen," added the judge, " that deception has 
existed on both sides we have ample evidence. 'Tis 
true this Sham Squire is guilty of great duplicity, 
but so also are the Archers.' * 

In thus fastening upon Higgins that stinging 
nickname which clung to him throughout his subse- 
quent highly-inflated career, Judge Kobinson unin- 
tentionally inflicted a punishment more severe than a 
long term of imprisonment in Newgate or the Black 

Higgins exhibited great effrontery in the dock; 
and, appealing to the jury, asked if there was one 
man among them who would not do as much to 
possess so fine a girlf 

Judge Kobinson was a bad lawyer and an un- 
popular judge. When proceeding to the Armagh 
assizes, in 1763, he found a gallows erected, and so 
constructed across the road that it was necessary to 
pass under it. To the " Heart-of -Oak-Boys" Judge 
Robinson was indebted for this compliment. J He 
was called to the bar in 1737, and died in Dominic 
Street in 1786. Mr O'Regan, in his " Memoir of 
Curran," describes Robinson as small and peevish. 
A member of the bar, named Hoare, sternly resisted 
the moroseness of the judge; at last, Robinson 
charged him with a design to bring the king's com- 

• Tiadition communicated by Mr Gill, publisher, Diiblin. 

t Dublin Evening Post, No. 1765. 

t Hardy's Life of Charlemout, vol ]., p. 199. 


mission into contempt. " No, my lord," replied Hoare, 
" I have read that when a peasant, during the troubles 
of Charles I., found the crown in a bush, he showed 
it all marks of reverence. But I will go further ; for 
though I should find the king's commission even 
upon a hrarnble, still I shall respect it." Mr Charles 
Phillips tells us that Judge Robinson had risen to 
his rank by the publication of some political pam- 
phlets, only remarkable for their senseless, slavish, 
and envenomed scurrility. This fellow, when poor 
Curran was struggling with adversity, and straining 
every nerve in one of his infant professional exer- 
tions, made an unfeeling effort to crush him. Curran 
had declared, in combating some opinion of his 
adversary, that he had consulted dtthis laio books, 
and could not find a single case in which the prin- 
ciple contended for was established. " I suspect, 
sir," said the heartless blockhead, " that your law 
library is rather contracted ! " CmTan eyed the 
judge for a moment in the most contemptuous 
silence, and then said : " It is very true, my lord, that 
I am poor, and the circumstance has certainly rather 
curtailed, my library; my books are not numerous, 
but they are select, and I hope have been perused 
with proper dispositions. I have prepared myself for 
tliis high profession rather by the study of a few good 
books than by the composition of a great many bad 
ones. I am not ashamed of my poverty, but I should 
of my wealth, could I stoop to acquire it by servility 
and corruption. If I rise not to rank, I shall at least 
be honest ; and should I ever cease to be so, many an 
example shows me that an ill-acquired elevation, by 
making me the more conspicuous, would only make 
me the more universally and the more notoriously 

Poor Miss Archer did not long survive her 
humiliation and misfortune. She died of a broken 
heart; and her parents had not long laid her 


remains in tlie grave when their own mournfully 

Mr Higgins's comijanions throughout the period of 
Ais detention in Newgate were not of the most_ select 
description, nor were the manners prevalent in the 
place calculated to reform his reckless character. 
Wesley having visited the prison, found such impiety 
prevailing, that he always looked back upon it with 
loathing. " In 1767," observes Mr Gilbert," New- 
gate was found to be in a very bad condition, the 
walls being ruinous, and a constant communication 
existing between the male and female prisoners, ow- 
ing to there being but one pair of stairs in the builds 
ing."* The gaoler carried on an extensive trade by 
selling liquors to the inmates at an exorbitant price ; 
md prisoners refusing to comply with his demands 
were abused, violently beaten, stripped naked, and 
dragged to a small subterranean dungeon, with no 
light save what was admitted through a sewer which 
ran close by it, carrying off all the ordure of the 
prison, and rendering the atmosphere almost insup- 
portable. In this noisome oubliette, perversely called 
" the nunnery," from being the place where abandoned 
females were usually lodged, twenty persons were fre- 
quently crowded together and plundered. Criminals 
under sentence of transportation were permitted to 
mix among the debtors. By bribes and collusion be- 
tween the gaoler and the constables, legal sentences, 
in many instances, were not carried out. These 
practices at length attracted the attention of Parlia- 
ment. Among other facts which transpired in the 
resolution of the Irish House of Commons, we find 
that the gaoler had " unlawfully kept in prison and 
loaded with irons persons not duly committed by any 
magistrate, till they had complied with the most 
exorbitant demands." 

Even when in durance Mr Higgins's cunning did 

* History of Uiililiii, pp. 26.5-6, vol.! 


not forsake him. Though iax from being a Macheatb 
in personal atti'actions, he contrived to steal the 
affections of the Lucy Lockit of the prison, and the 
happy couple were soon after married. * The gaoler 
was an influential person in his way, and promoted 
the worldly interest of his son-in-law. 

For his "misdemeanours" in the family of Mr 
Archer, Higgins was committed to Newgate on 
January 9, 1767; but the punishment failed to 
make much impression on him. In the Freeman's 
Journal for February 28 — the paper of which Hig- 
gins subsequently became the influential proprietor 
■ — we find the following : — 

" At tlie commission of oyer and terminer, Mark Thomas, 
a revenue officer, and Francis Higgins, the celebrated ad- 
venturer, were convicted of an assault against Mr Peck. . 

. . . Higgins was iined £5, to be imprisoned one 

year, and to give £100.0 security for his good behaviour for 
seven years." 

Clu'onologically in place here are the details em- 
bodied in a curious letter, addressed on July 23, 
1789, by " An Old Gray-headed Attorney," to John 
Magee, editor of the Dublin Evening Post, who, 
through its medium, continued with indomitable 
spirit to expose and execrate " the Sham," when he 
became an efficient tool of the Grovernment, and was 
placed on the Bench by them : — 

" In one of your late papers mention was made that the 
Sham had taken off the roll the record of his conviction 
in the case of Miss Archer; but if you wish to produce 
another record of his conviction, you wUl find one stUI 
remaining, in a case wherein the late John Peck was plain- 
tiff, and the Sham and the late Mark Thomas, a revenue 
officer, were defendants. Sham being liberated from New- 
gate on Miss Archer's affair, sought out the celebrated 
Mark Thomas, who at that time kept a shop in Cape] 
* Sketches of Irish Political Characters, p. 182. 


Streei for the purpose of registering numbers in the then 
English lottery at Id. per number. Thomas found Sham 
a man fitting for his purpose, and employed him as clerk 
during the drawing, and afterwards as setter and informer 
in revenue matters. 

" Sham's business was to go to unwary grocers, and sell 
them bags of tea by way of smuggled goods, and after- 
wards send Thomas to seize them and to levy the fines by 
information. One evening, however, Sham and Thomas 
being inebriated, they went to John Peck's, in Corn Mar- 
ket, to search for run tea. Words arose in consequence : 
Sham made a violent pass at Peck with his tormentor (an 
instrument carried by revenue oificers) and wounded him 
severely in the shoulder. Peck indicted them both : they 
were tried, found guilty, and ordered a year's imprison- 
ment in Newgate, where they remained during the sentencf 
of the court. 

"The time of confinement having passed over, they 
were once more suffered to prowl on the public. Thomas 
died shortly after, and Sham enlisfed himself under the 
banners of the late Charles Eeilly, of Smock Alley, wha 
then kept a public house, with billiard and hazard tables. 
Eeilly considered him an acquisition to prevent riotous 
persons spoiling the play ; for Sham at that time was not 
bloated, and was well known to be a perfect master in bruis- 
ing, having carefully studied that art for two years in New- 
gate under the noted Jemmy Stack. 

" Sham having lived some time at Eeilly's, contrived by 
means of his cunning to put Eeilly in the Marshalsea, and 
at the same time to possess himself of EeiUy's wife, hia 
house, and his all. The unfortunate Eeilly from his suffer- 
ings became frantic and insane, and his wife died miserablj'. 
Sham stiU holds the house in Smock Alley. It is some- 
times let out for a b 1, at other times his worship 

occupies it as a warehouse for the disposal of hose." * 

Mr Gilbert, in his " History of Dublin," (vol. ii., p. 
113,) refers to " ReiUy's " with other gambling houses 
of the TTorst character, which continued to exist in 

* Publin Evening Poft, No. 1830. 


Ic^mock _Ai/ey till the close of the last century. " The 
police, in 1790, on breaking into a house in this alley, 
found numbers of false dice; and discovered in the 
cellar a quantity of human bones, with the skeleton 
of a man who had apparently fallen a victim to the 
proprietors of the hell." 

For the assault on Peck, described by the " Grray- 
headed Attorney," we learn that Higgins " was pub- 
licly led by the common hangman through the streets 
of Dublin to the Court of King's Bench; and whUe 
in durance vile had no other subsistence than bread 
and water, save what he extorted by his piteous tale, 
and piteous countenance exhibited through the grated 
bars of a Newgate air-hole." * 

The next glimpse we get of Mr Higgins is in the 
year 1775, exercising the craft of a hosier at " the 
Wholesale and Retail Connemara Sock and Stock- 
ing Warehouse, Smock Alley," f and as a testimony 
to his importance, elected president of the GruUd of 
Hosiers.J In 1780 we find his services engaged by 
Mr David G-ibbal, conductor of the Freeman's Jour- 
nal, and one of the proprietary of Pue's Occurrences. 

The Puhlic Register, or Freeman! a Journal, stood 
high as a newspaper. In 1770 it became the organ 
of Grrattan, Flood, and other opponents of the corrupt 
Townshend administration ; while in Hoey's Mercury 
the viceroy was defended by Jephson, Marley, and 
Simcox. In literary ability ^& Freeman of that day 
has been pronounced, by a competent authority, as 
" incomparably superior to its Dublin contemporaries, 
and had the merit of being, with the exception of 
the Censor, the first Irish newspaper which published 
original and independent political essays." § Dr 
Jebb, and the subsequent Judge Johnson, contri- 
buted papers to the Freeman at this period. || Un- 

• Dvhlin Evening Post, No. 1779. t lUd., No. 1791. 

t Ibid., No. 1775. § Gilbert's Dublin, vol, i., p. 294 

II For notices of both aee Appendix, 


til 1782 it was printed at St Audeon's Arch; but at 
the close of that year G-ibbal transferred it to Crane 

In the journals of the Irish House of Commons 
we find an order issued, bearing date April 7, 1784, 
" That leave be given to bring in a biU to secure the 
liberty of the press, by preventing abuses arising from 
the publication of seditious, false, and slanderous libels. 
Ordered — That Francis Higgins, one of the conductors 
of the Freeman's Journal, do attend this House to- 
morrow morning."* The terms in which Mr Higgins 
was reproved are not recorded. 

A short discussion on the subject may be found in 
the " Irish Parliamentary Debates." T)ie Right Hon. 
John Foster impugned the conduct of the Freeman's 
Journal, and General Luttrel, afterwards Lord Car- 
hampton, who, as will be seen, never flinched in his 
support of Mr Higgins, defended it.f 

On the 8th of April following, Mr Foster brought 
in a bill to secure thfi liberty of the press, by pre- 
venting the publication of slanderous libels. The 
provisions of the bill were, that henceforth the name 
of the proprietor of every newspaper should be regis- 
tered upon oath at the Stamp Office, and that the 
printer enter into a recognisance of £500 to answer 
all civil suits which might be instituted agamst him 
for publications. Mr Foster severely censured " those 
papers that undertake slander for hire, and calumny 
for reward." Sir Hercules Eowley saw no necessity 
for the bill ; " he knew of no traitorous, scandalous, 
or malicious libels but one, viz., the title of the bill 
itseK, which was an infamous libel on the Irish na- 
tion." On April 12, the subject was again debated. 
Mr Grattan declared that there was one paper which 
daily teemed with exhortations and incitements to 
assassination. Parliament was called upon to inter- 

* Commons' Joui-nals, vol, xi., pp. 267-268. 
t Irish Pari. Debates, vol. iii., p. 147. 


fere, not by imposing any new penalty, nor by com- 
pelling printers to have their publications licensed, 
but merely to oblige them to put their names to their 
newspapers. The Attorney-General observed that 
these violent publications had great effect on the 
popular mind. A conspiracy had recently been dis- 
covered for murdering no less than seven members of 
that House. " The conditions were that the assas- 
sins, should, upon performance of the business, re- 
ceive £100 ; and, in the meantime, they were actually 
furnished with money, pistols, ammunition, and 
bayonets. They were urged to use the latter weapon, 
because it would neither miss fire nor make a noise." 
The bill, in an amended form, passed both Houses, 
and received the royal assent on the 14th of May fol- 

We must now go back a little. While engaged 
in Mr Bourne's office as an attorney's clerk, in 1766, 
Higgins had contrived to acquire no inconsider- 
able knowledge of law; and as his ambition now 
pointed to the profession of solicitor, for which, hav- 
ing renounced " Popery,"* he was eligible, a short 
course of study sufficed to qualify him. Higgins 
made several attempts to grasp the privileges and 
gown of an attorney ; but the antecedents of his life 
were so damnatory, that opposition was offered by 
high legal authorities to his efforts. But Higgins 
was not a man on whom rebuffs made any impres- 
sion, and we learn that so indomitable was his 
perseverance in endeavouring to obtain admittance 
as an attorney of the Court of Exchequer, that 
Chief Baron Foster f pronounced it "impudence," 

* " Attorneys were sworn not to take a Catholic apprentice. 1 
have heard that there were instances of judges swearing in their own 
servants as attorneys." — MS. Letter. Until 1793 Eoman Catholics 
were inadmissible as attorneys. 

t Anthony Foster, Chief Baron of the Exchequer ; called to the Bar 
in 1732 ; died 1778. He was father of the Eight Hon. John Foster, 
liist Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, and first Lord Oriel, 


and threatened a committal to Newgate if again 

The importance of having a friend at court was, ere 
long, pleasantly exemplified. John Scott, afterwards 
Earl of Clonmel, had in the days of his obscurity 
known the Sham Squire. Mr Scott, as we are re- 
minded by Sir Jonah Barrington.f Charles Phillips, J 
md Walter Cox, § was a person of very humble origin, 
but of some tact and talent. In 1765 he became a 
member of the Irish Bar. || In 1769 we find Lord 
Chancellor Lifford recommending him to the patron- 
age of Lord Townshend, then viceroy of Ireland. 
" The marquis," observes one who knew Scott well, 
" had expressed his wishes for the assistance of some 
young gentleman of the Bar, on whose talents and 
fidelity he might rely in the severe parliamentaiy 
campaigns." Scott was accordingly returned for 
MuUingar. " The opposition," adds Hardy, " was 
formidable, being composed of the most leading fami- 
lies in the country, joined to great talents, and led on 
by Flood, whose oratorical powers were then at their 
height. Against this lofty combination did Mr Scott 
oppose himseK with a promptitude and resolution 
almost unexampled. No menace from without, no 
invective within, no question, however popular, no 
retort, however applauded, no weight or vehemence 
of eloquence, no delicate satire, for a moment deterred 
this young, vigorous, and ardent assailant. On he 
moved, without much incumbrance of argument cer- 
tainly, but all the light artUlery and total war of jests 
were peculiarly his own.""!" 

Mr Scott's antecedents had been foreign to his new 
duties. _ Sprung from the ranks of the people, a zeal- 
ous disciple of Lucas, the companion of patriots, an<f 

* Dublin Evening Post, No. 1828. + Personal Sketches, p. 314 

t Currati and his Contemporaries, p. 3a. 

§ Irish Magazine tor ISIO. 

II Wilson's Dublin Directories. 

U Haidy's Life of Charlemont, vol. i., p. 269. 


even while at college a staunch opponent of the 
Government, Mr Scott was, in principle and prac- 
tice, a thorough democrat. When introduced to 
Lord Townshend by Lord Chancellor Lifford, he 
observed with some humour, not unmixed with regret, 
" My lord, you have spoiled a good patriot ! "* A few 
months subsequent to his return for MuUingar, we 
find Mr Scott created a king's counsel ; in 1772, 
counsel to the Bevenue Board ; in 1774, solicitor- 
general; in 1774, privy-councillor and attorney- 
general. During the administration of Lord North- 
ington, he became prime sergeant ; and in that of the 
Duke of Rutland, Chief-Justice of the King's Bench, 
with a peerage.f 

Politically speaking. Lord Clonmel was a bad 
L-ishman and a worse logician. " When he failed to 
convince," writes Mr Phillips, "he generally succeeded 
in diverting; and if he did not, by the gravity of. his 
reasoning, dignify the majority to which, when in 
Parliament, he sedulously attached himself, he, at all 
events, covered their retreat with an exhaustless quiver 
of alternate sarcasm and ridicule. Added to this, he 
had a perseverance not to be fatigued, and a personal 
intrepidity altogether invincible. When he could not 
overcome, he swaggered ; and when he could not bully, 
he fought." On the Bench, too, he was often very 
overbearing, and for having subjected a barrister 
named Hackett to some discourtesy, which, at a meet- 
ing of the Bar, was reprobated and resented as a per- 
sonal offence. Lord Clonmel was obliged to apologise 
in the public papers. He had many social virtues, 
however, and Mr Hardy informs us that in convivial 
hours his bonhommie and pleasantry were remarkable. 
" To his great honour be it recorded," adds the bio- 
grapher of Charlemont, " he never forgot an obliga- 
tion; and as liis sagacity and knowledge of manldnd 

* Orattan'a Memoirs, vol. ii., p. Hi. 
t Archdall'a Lodge's Irish PeeraRe, 

vol, vii., pp. 242-3. 


must have been pre-eminent, so his gratitude to per- 
sons who had assisted him in the mediocrity of his 
fortune was unquestionable, and marked byreal gene- 
rosity and munificence." 

With Francis Higgins, whom he had known in 
that darkly-clouded period which preceded the dawn 
of his good fortune. Lord Clonmel ever afterwards 
kept up a friendly intercourse.* It is traditionally 
asserted that Higgins had been of some use to Mr 
Scott, both in early life and subsequently. Higgins 
having been peremptorily refused admission to the 
craft of solicitors by Chief Baron Foster,t Mr Scott, 
when Attorney-General, kindly undertook to intro- 
duce him to Lord Annaly,J Chief -Justice of the King's 
Bench, and the request so influentially urged was im- 
mediately granted. § 

The name of Francis Higgins, as an attomey-at- 
law, appears for the first time in the Dublin Direc- 
tory for 1781. His then residence is given as Boss 
Lane. From 1784 to 1787 he is styled Deputy- 
Coroner of Dublin. || We further learn that his prac- 
tice as solicitor throughout those years was exclu- 
sively confined to the court in which Lord Clonmel 
presided as chief-justice. 

Notwithstanding our adventurer's legal avocations 
and professional business, which, owing to his natu- 
ral aptitude and pleasant cordiality of manner, were 
daily increasing, he contrived, nevertheless, to contri- 
bute regularly to the press. 

" In his speculations towards advancement," says a 

* Dublin Evening Post, file for 1789, passim. 

t Anthony Foster was appointed Chief Baron on September 19, 
1765. See Smyth's Law Officers of Ireland, pp. 144, 252. 

t Letter of an " Old Gray-headed attorney," DuhUn Evening 
Post, No. 1791. See also No. 1786. 

§ John Gore, member for Jamestown, having pleased the p.arli» 
mentary whipper-in, was appointed, in 1764, Chief-Justice of the 
King's Bench. Gore was created Baron Annaly in 1766, but dying 
Vfithout issue in 1783, the title became extinct 

II Wilson's Dublin Directories. 


writer, " he considered the command of a newspaper 
as an essential weapon, both offensive and defensive." 
To attain this desideratum he insinuated himself into 
the confidence of the proprietor of a very respectable 
print, the Freeman's Journal. This gentleman be- 
coming embarrassed, requested an accommodation. 
With some apparent good nature, Higgins at once 
granted the request; but, watching his opportunity 
when he thought his victim's distress at its height, 
suddenly asked him to pay back the money ; the pro- 
prietor seemed surprised, and begged that a longer 
period of accommodation might be extended. The 
Sham Squire declined ; the journalist expostulated ; 
but Mr Higgins was inexorable, and forthwith arrested 
him for the debt. To procure his liberty he was glad 
to transfer to his creditors the property of the paper 
for one-fourth of its value.* This paper had hitherto 
been prominently conspicuous on the patriotic side of 
the question, and was, therefore, the more saleable a 
commodity in the hands of this new proprietor. He 
made his terms with Lord Northington, and thence- 
forth his paper was the most subservient to, and there- 
fore the most favoured by, the ministers.f 

Mr Higgins, having now acquired the sole control, 
literary and pecuniary, of the paper, became a per- 
son of some importance in the public eye, and of 
boundless consequence in his own. The tone of 
abject subserviency infused into its columns seemed 
almost inconsistent with his own arrogant strut and 
inflated bearing. His wealth and influence, swa,gger 
and effrontery increased ; but it keenly chagrined 
him to find that the more important he became the 
more inveterately he was pursued by the nickname of 
the Sham Squire. 

But there were sham statesmen, and other shams 
too, in those days, who were glad to secure the support 

* Tradition preserved in the office of the Freeman't Journal. 

t Gilbert's History of Dublin ; Plowden's Historical lieview, iSOX 


of even a Sham Squire. " Higgins," we are told, 
" wormed himself into the intimacy of several persons 
of rank, fortune, and consequence in the country, who 
demeaned themselves by their obsequiousness to his 
art, or sold themselves to him for his unqualified 
enterprise in maligning their enemies, or bearing 
them out of diflficulties and disgrace."* 

" TiU the Volunteers have, in some degree, sub- 
sided, your Government can only subsist by expe- 
dients, painful as such an idea must be to your feel- 
ings," f writes Mr, afterwards Lord, GrenviUe, brother 
to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. The Irish Go- 
vernment of these days was eminently weak and 
venal ; and Mr Higgins at once prostituted to its pur- 
poses the hitherto virtuous journal, of which he had 
now become the master. 

In recognition of his services he received some 
small offices. Wilson's Dublin Directories from 1784 
to 1787 record that Mr Higgins discharged the duties 
of coroner for Dublin during that interval. 

Lord Temple retired from the Government, and 
was succeeded by the Duke of Kutland. Mr Connolly, 
and other large landed proprietors, who had formerly 
supported Government, took, in 1786 and following 
years, a decided part against his Grace's administra* 
tion. They denounced various biUs as unconstitu- 
tional jobs, introduced solely for the purpose of minis- 
terial patronage. But the grand attack of the oppo- 
sition was on the Pension List. Mr Grattan gave 
great offence to the Treasury Bench by causing the 
whole list to be read aloud by the clerk, and exclaim- 
ing, " If I should vote that pensions are not a gi'iev- 
ance, I should vote an impudent, an insolent, and a 
public lie." The Duke of Rutland fell into great 
unpopularity with the populace, and nairowly escaped 

• Plowden's Historical Review; Gilbert's Dublin, iii. 27. 
t Court and Cabinets of George III., by the Duke of Buckingbam 
»nd Chandoa. Vol. 1., p. 87. 


personal outrage at the theatre. Meanwhile, the dis- 
content which prevailed in the city extended to the 
country parts, and found noisy exponents in the 
" Eight Boys" and the " Defenders." 

Yet the Duke possessed qualities and chai-acter- 
istics which made him not unpopular with the gentry 
and middle classes. It was supposed that he had 
sown his wild oats in England ; but, as events proved, 
he had still some bushels to scatter broadcast in the 
green fields of Erin. His mission in Ireland seemed 
to aim at extending luxury and extravagance, con- 
viviality and unbridled pleasure. He had great affa- 
bility, and was free from the haughty deportment 
which marked his predecessor's intercourse with the 
Irish people. Moreover, he showered knighthoods 
around with a lavish hand; and it is told of him that, 
having one evening in his cups knighted a jolly inn- 
keeper at Kilbeggan, named Ouffe, of which he re- 
pented in the calm reaction of the following day, he 
sent for the landlord, and told him that, as the whole 
affair was a joke, the sooner it was forgotten the 
better. " I should be well plazed to obleedge your 
Ex-cel-lency," he replied, " but I unfortunately men- 
tioned the matter to Leedy Cuffe, and she would part 
with her life before she'd give it up."* In the Duke 
of Kutland's energetic efforts to attain popularity, he 
found in his beautiful wife a zealous ally. She made 
the Circular Eoad, now a comparatively deserted 
highway, the Hyde Park of Dublin, f A contem- 
porary song says — 

" If you wish to see her Grace, 
The Circular Eoad it is the place." 

There this lovely woman, with her six spanking 

* This incident occurred on the property of the Lamberts of 
Beauparo, in whose family the stoi-y is preserved. 

+ This pleasant innovation continued for several years after- 
wards. Lord Cloncurry, in his " Personal Recclleotions," (2d ed., 
p. 187,) writes ; — " It was the custom, on Sundays, for all the great 
folk to rendezvous, in the afternoon, upon the North Circular 


ponies, sparkling postilions, and gorgeously-attired 
out-riders, was daily to be seen smiling and bowing. 
She was considered the handsomest woman in Ire- 
land, with one exception— Mrs Dillon, wife of a 
Roman Catholic woollen-draper, residing at No. 5 
Francis Street. We are informed by Mr O'Reilly, in 
his " Reminiscences of an Emigrant Milesian," that 
one day the Liberty was tluown into a state of un- 
wonted excitation by the appearance of her Grace 
and out-riders in front of Mrs Dillon's door. She en- 
tered the shop, but Mrs Dillon was not behind the 
counter. " Sliall I call her ?'' inquu'ed an agitated 
shopman. " No," said the Duchess, " I shall go to 
her myself;" saying which she entered the parlour, 
and received a graceful bow from the lady of tlie 

Uoad, just as, in latter times, the fasliionables of London did in 
Ilyde Park; and upon tliat magnificent drive I have frequently 
seen three or four ooaches-and-six, and eight or ten ooaohes-andfour, 
passing slowly to and fro in a long procession of other carriages, 
and between u, double column of well-mounted horsemen. Of 
course, the populace were there, too, and saluted with friendly 
greetings, always cordially and kindly acknowledged, the lords and 
gentlemen of the country party, who were neither few in number 

nor insignificant in station The evenings of those Sunday 

mornings were commonly passed by the same parties in promenad- 
ing at the Botundo. I have frequently seen there, of a Sunday 
evening, a third of the members of the two houses of parliament." 
— Moore mentions in his " Memoirs," (i. 10,) that about the year 
1790, a curious toy called "a quiz" became fashionable with the 
class of pedestrians to whom Lord Cloncurry alludes. " To such a 
ridiculous degree," he writes, " did the fancy for this toy pervade 
at that time all ranks and ages, that in the public gardens and in 
the streets, numbers of persons, of both sexes, were playing it up 
and down as they walked along." The subsequent Duke of Wel- 
lington, when in Ireland in 1797, was much given to playing with 
this toy ; and Lord Plunkett said, that while serving on a com- 
mittee with him he never for a moment ceased the puerile indul- 
gence. The early life of " the Iron Duke," if honestly told, would 
exhibit him deficient in ballast. Having had some warm words 
with a Frenchman in Dublin, he wrested from his hand a cane, 
which was not returned. The Frenchman brought an action for 
the robbery of the cane, and Wellesley was absolutely tried in the 
Sessions House, Dublin, for the offence. He was acquitted of the 
robbery, but found guilty of the assault. 


house. " There is no exaggeration in the descrip- 
tion," said the Duchess, as she peered into the dove- 
hke eyes of Mrs Dillon ; " you are the handsomest 
woman in the three kingdoms." 

The duchess had many devoted admirers who loved 
to flatter her with extravagantly fulsome compli- 
ments, "Counsellor" Walsh in "Ireland Fifty Years 
Ago," mentions that Colonel St Ledger having seen 
the duchess wash her mouth and fingers one day after 
dinner, he snatched up the glass and di-ained the con- 
tents. " St Ledger," said the duke, " you are in luck; 
her Grace washes her feet to-night, and you shall have 
another goblet after supper." 

A career so dissipated as that of the Duke of Rut- 
land was not likely to last long. He died in the 
government of Ireland from the effects of a fever in- 
duced by intemperance, and the imposing pageantry 
which marked the funeral procession was consistent 
with the splendour of his memorable regime. 

He who writes the history of the Eutland vice- 
royalty should consult the files of the Sham Squire's 
journal. Higgins was its organ and eulogist; but, 
setting aside political considerations, the Duke pos- 
sessed tendencies which specially recommended him 
to the cordial appreciation of Higgins. The services 
of Shamado did not pass unrewarded. During the 
Rutland viceroyaJty, he received the office of under- 
sheriff for the county of Dublin,* one, in those days, 
of considerable emolument. Mr Higgins had a busy 
time of it. Presiding in court with all the assumption of 
a judge,he notonly tried aU the forty-shilling causes, but 
much larger questions, under the writ of Scire Facias. 
He executed the writs which had been issued by the 
superior courts, superintended the gibbeting of crimi- 
nals, and throughout the popular tumults, which lo- 
cally raged at this time, he no doubt frequently figured 
at the head of his posse comitatns, or sheriff's guard. 
* Wilson's Dublin Directory for 1787, p. 112. 


Nefarious practices had long degraded the office of 
sheriff, but in 1823 they received a decided check 
by the parliamentary inquiry into the conduct of Mr 
Sheriff Thorpe. The partiality with which sheriffs 
habitually packed juries for particular cases was then 
unveiled ; and it transpired that they pledged them- 
selves, before their election, to take a decided part in 
politics against every Catholic. " Catholics," observed 
Mr O'Connell, " would rather submit to great wrongs 
than attempt a trial in Dublin." Competent witnesses 
were examined at the same time ; and the Edinburgh 
Review, noticing their evidence, said that " no one 
could fail to be equally surprised and disgusted with 
the abominable course of profligacy and corruption 
which is there exhibited." That the Sham Squire 
was no better than his predecessors and successors, 
we have reason to believe. 

Mr Higgins became every day a richer man. 
From the publication of the Government proclama- 
tions alone he derived a considerable income. When 
we know that the sum paid in 1788 to Mr Higgins 
for proclamations was £1600, according to the par- 
liamentary return, it is not surprising that the popular 
organs of the day should have complained that " Signor 
Shamado" received from the Government annually, 
more than a commissioner of his Majesty's revenue.* 

* Dublin Evening Post, No. 1765. The archives of the Board of 
Inland Revenue, Dublin, contain some documents illustraliyt of 
the subsidisation of tlie Trish press at this period. 



Peculation. — The Press Subsidised and Debauched. — How to get up 
an Ovation for an Unpopular Viceroy. — Lord Buckingham. — 
Judges Kevel at the Board of the Sham Squire. — A Pande- 
monium Unveiled. — Lord Avonmore. — A Great Struggle. — The 
Regency. — Peerages Sold. — John Magee. — Lord Carhampton. — 
Mrs Lewellyn. — Squibs and Lampoons. — The Old Four Courts 
in Dublin. — Dr Houlton. — The Duke of Wellington on Bribing 
the Irish Press. 

The viceroy's lieisure in the last century was heavily 
taxed by unceasing applications from Lord Olonmel 
and his unpopular colleagues to authorise and sign 
proclamations on every imaginable infraction of the 
law. Mr Grriffith, on January 23, 1787, complained 
in his place in Parliament that the "newspapers 
seemed under some very improper influence. In one 
paper the country was described as one scene of riot 
and confusion ; in another all is peace. By the pro- 
clamations that are published in them, and which are 
kept in for years, in order to make the fortunes of 
some individuals, the kingdom is scandalised and dis- 
graced through all the nations of the world where our 
newspapers are read. The proclamations are a libel 
on the cpuntry. Was any offender ever taken up in 
consequence of such publications ? And are they not 
rather a hint to offenders to change their situation 
and appearance ? He did hope, from what a right 
honourable gentleman had said last year that this 
abuse would have been redressed, but ministers have 
not deigned to give any answer on the subject."* 
On 2d February following, Mr Oorry animadverted 
to ihe same effect. Foreigners would mistake the 

^ IrisU Pari. Register, vol. vii., p. 37-?. 


character of our people, and look upon us as a savage 
nat'on ; hence the low price of land in Ireland, and 
the difficulty of raising money He denounced the 
bills furnished by newspapers as a gross attsmpt to 
waste the public funds. Hussey Burgh declared that 
more proclamations were to be found in the Dublin 
Gazette, in the time of profound peace, long before 
the Right Boys created a disturbance, than in th« 
London Gazette during the rebellion ! Mr Wolfe ob- 
served that Government absolutely abetted the Right 
Boys; they had inserted Captain Right's manifesto 
in the middle of a Government proclamation, and so 
sent it round the kingdom much more eflectually 
than Captain Right ever could have done, and that 
without any expense to the captain. 

Mr Forbes " thought it hard that the payment of 
the Freeman's Journal should be disputed; for he 
was sure that the proprietor was a very generous man. 
An innkeeper in the town he represented regularly 
received that paper On his inquiring what he paid 
for it, and who sent it, the innkeeper replied that he 
did not know. A Mr F. H., some worthy gentleman, 
God bless him, had sent it to him, and never troubled 
him for payment or anything else ! "* 

Here two things are obvious ; first, that the editor 
of the " Parliamentary Register" held Mr Higgins in 
such fear that he dared not report his name ; se- 
condly, that ■" F. H." considered himself so overpaid 
by his peculating employers, that he could well afford 
to push his paper into an enormous gratuitous circu- 

In January 1788, the Marquis of Buckingham, 
who had previously ruled Ireland as Lord Temple, 
resumed the viceregal reins. An historic writer, al- 
luding to Higgins, says : — 

" This man, ready for any job for which he should be 
paid, under some natural suspicions that the return of the 
* Irish Pari. RegiBter, vol. vii., pp. 83, 88, 89. 


Mai-quis of Buckingham to assume the vicerfcgexic> of Ire- 
land would not be attended by any particular demonstra- 
tions of joy, had hired a mob to wait his arrival, and had 
supplied a proper number of them with silken cords and har- 
ness to draw him in his carriage to the Castle, under the 
fastidious deceit of mercenary popularity and triumph."* 

Of this chief governor, Mr Grattan observes : " He 
opposed many good measures, promoted many bad 
men, increased the expenses of Ireland in a manner 
wanton and profligate, and vented his Wrath upon 
the country." + Such being the case, it is not sur- 
prising that Lord.Bulkley, in a letter to his Excel- 
lency, dated June 14, 1788, should remark : " I saw 
yom- brother. Marquis, who told me that he heard 
with the greatest concern that your popularity in Ire- 
land was faUing apace, and that the candles were 
out.":^ By way of counterbalance, Higgins swung the 
censer with more than ordinary energy. According to 
the Post, a cheque from the treasury for £1030 was 
graciously presented to the Sham Squire at this period, 
in testimony of his efficient support of Loi'd Bucking- 
ham's administration. § 

The daring and dastardly experiment of bribing 
the press was then of recent introduction in Ireland. 
A letter from Mr Eden, afterwards Lord Auckland, 
addressed to Lord North, and dated " Phoenix Park, 
August 27, 1781," says :— 

" We have hitherto, by the force of good words and 
with some degree of private expense, preserved an ascend- 
ancy over the press not hitherto known here, and it is of 
an importance equal to ten thousand times its cost, but 
we are without the means of continuing it. "II 

* Plowden's Historical Review; GUbert'a Dublin, iii. 27. 

t Memoirs of Henry Grattan, vol. iii., p. 146. 

+ Court and Cabinets of George III., vol. i., p. 396. London : 

§ DvMm Evertmg Post, "Soa. 1806-1808. 

II Correspondence of Eight Hon. J. C. Beresford, i., p. 170. Mr 
Eden was Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1780 until 1782 ; created. 



But Higgins had too much natural taste for tm 
" art and mystery " of legal lore, as weU as for bills 
of costs, to forego the emoluments of an attorhey-at- 
law for the editorial desk, however lucrative. We 
find hinl figuring as solicitor for prisoners in several 
cases which excited much noise at this time — instance 
the " Trial of Robert Keon, gentleman, for the mur- 
der of George Nugent Reynolds, Esq." * Retaining 
the absolute control of the Freeman's Journal, 
Higgins, in order that he might be able to devote 
more time to his profession, engaged Doctor Houlton 
as his sub-editor, and George Joseph Browne, barrister, 
but originally a player,t and 0. Brennan, formerly a 
fierce democratic writer in the Evening Post,X as 
contributors. In a short time the Freeman's Journal 
became an important and influential organ of the Irish 
Government. The Sham Squire's society is said to 
have been courted by high authorities in the law and 
the state. In the great liberal organ of the day it is 
alleged that "judges are the companions of his 
festive hours" — that " judges revel at his board, and 
are his associates." § But the most startling feature 
in this epoch of the Sham Squire's life, is the allega- 
tion repeatedly made by the Post, that Higgins, at 

1789, Baron Auckland; died, 1814. Modem statesmen seem to 
hold conflicting opinions as to the expediency of subsidising news- 
papers for political ends. The memorable trial of Birch v. Lord 
Clarendon in 1850, revealed that hard cash had been given to the 
editor of the World for writing down the Young Ireland Party. 
Cavour, on the other hand, who was for many years before his death 
the daily butt of journalistic abuse, disdained the purchase of the 
press. "One day," writes his secretary, M. Artom, "somebody 
tried to show him the advantage of founding a semi-official journal, 
which should have the province of defending the policy of the 
Government. He replied, 'If you want to bring the best and 
soundest ideas into discredit, put them into officious or official 
form. If you have a good cause to defend, you will easily find 
writers who, without being paid, will defend it with more warmth 
and talent than paid journalists.'" 

* Dublin, 1788. 163 pages. Reported by George J. Browns, 

•I- Dublin Evening Post, No. 1793. 

t JInd., No. 1774. § JUd., No. 1756. 


the very period of vvhicli we write, was the proprietor 
of, or secret partner in, a gambling house of the worst 
possible description. In prose and verse, this public 
nuisance received energetic denunciation. 

" Where is the muse that lash'd the Roman crimes ? 
Where now is Pope with all his poignant rhymes ? 
Where's Chm'chill now, to aim the searching dart, 
Or show the foulness of a villain's heart ? 
Where is the muse to tune the piercing lay, 
And paint the hideous monster to the day ? 
Alas ! all gone ! let every virtue weep ; 
Shamado lives, and Justice lies asleep. 
How shall I wake her— will not all the cries 
Of midnight revels, that ascend the skies, 

The sounding dice-box, and the shrieking [ ] 

The groans of all the miserable poor. 
Undone and plunder'd by this outcast man. 
Will not these wake her ? " &c. , &o. 

The satiric bard proceeds to describe Shamado 
raising the unhallowed fabric in. Crane Lane : — 

" Henceforth, he cried, no watchman shall presume 
To check the pleasures of each festive room ; 
Henceforth, I say, let no policeman dare. 
No sheriff, alderman, or e'en lord mayor. 
No constable, or untaught bailiff rude, 
With hideous visage, on these realms intrude. 
He said, and striking with a golden wand, 
The doors obey the impulse of his hand ; 
The portals back upon their hinges flew. 
And many a hazard-table rose to view. 
On every table did a dice-box stand. 
Waiting impatient for the gamester's hand. 
Full many a couch prepared for soft delight. 
And a few lamps gleam'd out a glimmering light." * 

But we have quoted sufficient as a specimen. In 
a subsequent number the editor asks : — 

" Will not a day of retribution come for all this accumu- 
lation of villany and enormity at which the blood runs 
cold 1 Oh that we had a Fitzgibbon judge. Then would 
not longer the Newgate felon, the murderer of wretched 
parents, the betrayer of virgin innocence, the pestiferous 
defiler of the marriage couch, Sham his fate, and defy the 
laws of God and man." t 

• DMin Evening Post, No. 174P t Ibid., No. 1767. 


In the Directory for 1788 is recoi-ded Mr Siggin's 
removal from the obscurity of Eoss Lane to 72 
Stephen's Green, South, one of the fine old Huguenot 
houses, of which Grattan occupied one._ From the 
above date, we find his professional practice extended 
from the King's Bench to the Common Pleas, besides 
acting at the Tholsel or Sessions' Couit — the very 
edifice in whose dock he stood a fettered malefactor a 
few years before. Chief Baron Yelverton, afterwards 
Lord Avonmore, presided in the Exchequer, and dis- 
countenanced the impudent pretensions of the Sham 
Squire to practise in that court. Yelverton, as one 
of the illustrious patriots of 1782, had not much 
claims to the favourable consideration of the Sham 
Squire. He was accordingly lampooned by him. On 
May 3, 1789, we read :— 

" Counsel rose on behalf of Mr Higgins, who had been 
ordered to attend, to answer for certain scandalous para- 
graphs reflecting on that court. 

" Chief Baron Yelverton said, ' If you had not mentioned 
that affair, the court would not have condescended to re- 
collect its insignificance, but would have passed it by, as 
it has done every other paragraph, whether of praise or 
censure, which has appeared in that paper, with the most 
supreme contempt. Let the fellow return to his master's 
employment. Let him exalt favourite characters, if there 
be any mean enough to take pleasure in his adulation : let 
Lim continue to spit his venom against everything that is 
praiseworthy, honourable, or dignified in human nature : 
but let him not presume to meddle with the courts of 
justice, lest, forgetting his baseness and insignificance, 
they should at some time deign to inflict a merited 
punishment.' " * 

Yelverton's opinion of the Sham Squire's insignifi- 
cance was not endorsed by Inspector-General Amyas 
Griffith, who, in his tracts published this year, after 
returning thanks to the "established Bishops of 

* Duhlln Evening Post, No. 1 757. 


Dublin, Casliel, Oloyne, and Kildare," cand other 
personages who had patronised him, acknowledges 
his obligation to Francis Higgins, Esq. * 

To render the career of the Sham Squire more 
distinct, and the interest of this book more general, 
we shall here make a slight historical digression. , 

A most important and embarrassing struggle be- 
tween England and Ireland took place in 1789, in 
reference to the regency which George the Third's 
mental aberration had made necessary. The Prince 
of Wales at this period professed not unpopular 
politics, and favoured the Catholic claims. Mr Pitt, 
apprehensive that the regency might prove fatal to 
his ambition and to his cabinet, powerfully resisted 
the heir-apparent's right to the prerogative of his 
father, and declared on 11th December 1788, that 
" the Prince of Wales had no better right to admin- 
ister the government during his father's incapacity 
than any other subject of the realm." f An address 
to his Koyal Highness from the Irish Parliament re- 
quested that he would " take upon himself the govern- 
ment of Ireland during the continuation of the king's 
indisposition, and no longer, and under the title of 
Prince Regent of Ireland, in the name, and on behalf 
of his Majesty, to exercise, according to the laws and 
constitution of that kingdom, all regal powers, juris- 
diction, and prerogatives to the crown and govern- 
ment thereof belonging." Ireland called upon the 
prince, in virtue of the federative compact, to assume 
at once the sceptre of authority; but Mr Pitt's follow- 
ers furiously struggled against it. Grattan headed 
the independent party in the Commons. , Mr Pelham, 
afterwards Lord Chichester, after speaking of what 
he styles "the tricks and intrigues of Mr Pitt's 
faction," says, "I have not time to express how 
strongly the prince is affected by the confidence and 

• Advertisement to Miscellaneous Tracts. 

♦ The Prospect Before \Jb, 1788, p. 4, 


attacliment of the Irish Parliament. I have onl 
time to say in his own words, ' Tell Grattan that 
am a most determined Irishman.'" The Duke c 
Portland, writing to Mr Grattan on the 21st Feh 
ruary 1789, says: — "I beg most sincerely to con 
gratulate you on the decisive effect of your distin 
guished exertions. Your own country is sensible ani 
worthy of the part you have taken in defence am 
protection of her constitution. The prince think 
himself no less obliged to you; and whenever thi 
deluded country becomes capable of distinguishinj 
her true friends, she will contribute her quota o 
applause and gratitude." * 

" The probability of his Majesty's recovery," write 
Sir Jonah Barrington, " had a powerful influence oi 
placemen and official connexions. The viceroy too] 
a decisive part against the prince, and made bold an( 
hazardous attempts upon the rights of the Iris! 
Parliament." The recently-published Buckinghan 
correspondence t confirms Sir Jonah's statement 
Every day a bulletin announcing the monarch's con 
valescence reached the viceroy. The good news wa 
orally circulated among his supporters. Mr Fitz 
gibbon was promised the seals and a peerage if h 
succeeded for Mr Pitt. Each member of the Opposi 
tion was menaced, that he should be made the " victin 
of Ms vote." Lures were held out to the wavering- 
threats hurled at the independent. 

This extraordinary threat elicited that spirited pro 
test familiarly loiown as " the Bound Kobin," li 

• Life and Timea of Henry Grattan, by his son, voL iii., pp. 373-4 
+ Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of Qoorge III., frot 
Original Family Documents, by the Duke of Buckingham an^ 
Chandos, 1853. The noble editor of these valuable state paper 
admits that " the Parliament of Ireland preserved the unquestioi 
able right of deciding the regency in their own way. The positio] 
of Lord Buckingham," he adds, " had become peculiarly embarrasf 
Ing. What course should be taken in the event of such an addrea 
being carried 1 The predicament was so strange, and involvo 
constitutional considerations of such importance, as to give th 
most serious disquietude to the Administration-" — Vol. ii., p. 101. 


wliich the Duke of Leinster, Lords Gharlemonti 
Shannon, G-ranard, Eoss, Moira, and a host of other 
influential men, affixed their signatures. The docu- 
ment dwelt on the recent threat of making indivi- 
duals " the victim of their vote," and stigmatised it 
" as a reprobation of their constitutional conduct, and 
an attack upon public principle and the independence 
of Parliament ; that any administration taking or per- 
severing in such steps was not entitled to their confi- 
dence, and should not receive their support." 

The addi-ess to the regent having passed both the 
Lords and Commons, it was presented to Lord Buck- 
ingham for transmission ; but the viceroy declined to 
have anything to say to it, and thus Parliament was 
reduced to the necessity of forwarding the address by 
the hands of delegates. Previous to their departure 
the following resolution was carried by 115 to 83 : — 
" That His Excellency's answer to both Houses of 
Parliament, requesting him to transmit their address 
to his Koyal Highness, is ill-advised, contains an un- 
warrantable and unconstitutional censure on the pro- 
ceedings of both Houses, and attempts to question the 
undoubted rights and privileges of the Lords spiritual 
and temporal, and of the Commons of Ireland." The 
viceroy, as alastresom-ce, endeavom'ed to multiply his 
partisans by the most venal means. Mr Fitzgibbon 
gave it to be understood that half a million of money 
had been placed in his hands for corrupt purposes ; 
and as the first law officer of the crown made this 
disgusting avowal, he casually confessed that one 
address of thanks to Lord Townshend, a few years 
before, had cost the nation £500,000.* 

Grattan, who was an eye-witness of all these di.s- 
reputable proceedings, observed at a later period : — 
*' The threat was put into its fullest execution ; the 
canvass of the minister was everywhere — in the 

* The corrupt policy and proceedings o£ the Townshend adminis- 
tration received effective eiposure in a publication called Baratqr 
riana. — See Appendix. 


House of Commons, in the lobby, in the street, at 
the door of the parliamentary undertakers, rapped 
at and worn by the little caitiffs of Government, who 
offered amnesty to some, honours to others, and cor- 
ruption to all; and where the word of the viceroy 
was doubted, they offered their own. Accordingly, 
we find a number of parliamentary provisions were 
created, and divers peerages sold, with such effect, 
that the same parliament which had voted the chief 
governor a ciiminal, did immediately after give that 
very governor implicit support." * " They began," 
said Ourran, " with the sale of the honour of the 
peerage — the open and avowed sale for money of the 
peerage to any man who was rich and shameless 
enough to be the purchaser. It depraved the Com- 
mons, it profaned the sanctity of the Lords, it poi- 
soned the sources of legislature and the fountains of 
justice, it annihilated the very idea of public honour 
or public integrity 1 " Ourran did not speak thus 
strongly from any cankering feeling of wounded 
pride at slights received from the Government. De- 
scribing the events of 1798, his biographer teUs us : — 
" To Mr Curran it was communicated that his sup- 
port of the Government would be rewarded with a 
judge's place, and with the eventual prospect of a 
peerage; but, fortunately for his fame, he had too 
much respect for his duties and his character to 
sacrifice them to personal advancement." f 

Grattan, Curran, and Ponsonby offered to prove 
on evidence the startling charges to which we have 
referred _; but the Government, knowing that it had 
been guilty of an impeachable offence, shrunk from 
the inquiry. The peerages of Kilmaine, Cloncurry, 
and Glentworth were, beyond doubt,. sold for cash in 
1789, and the proceeds laid out for the purchase of 
members in the House of Commons. 

* Life and Times of Henry Grattan, vol. iii., p. 33§. 
t Life of Curran, by his son, vol. i,, p. ^40. 


Mr Wright, in his " History of Ireland," pronounces 
Mr Johnson's to be the ablest speech on the Govern- 
ment side during this struggle. He quotes it in full ; 
but the eflPect is spoiled ^by Mr Johnson's confession 
to Thomas Moore in 1831, that he had always sup- 
ported Grattan's policy until the regency question, 
when he ratted, and at once became the recipient of 
state favours. " In fact," added the ex-judge Johnson, 
" we were aU jobbers at that time." * 

The struggle between the viceroy and the Parlia- 
ment was a sadly exciting one. Political profligacy 
stalked, naked and unblushing, through the Senate 
and the Castle. Vows, resolutions, rules, reputations, 
and faith were daily broken, Meanwhile, the royal 
physicians opined that the king would soon be re- 
stored to health. " Your object," says the Secretary 
of State, in a letter to the viceroy on Feb. 19, 1789, 
" your object will be to use every possible endeavour, 
by all means in your power, debating every question, 
dividing upon every question, moving adjournment 
upon adjournment, and every other mode that can 
be suggested, to gain time ! "f Sheridan's politically 
penetrating eye saw through the ruse. "I am per- 
fectly aware," he writes in a private letter to the 
prince, " of the arts that will be practised, and the 
advantages whicVi some people will attempt to gain 
by time." J These expedients, coupled with the ener- 
getic efforts daily made by a venal press and minister, 
at last triumphed ; and the king was now, to quote 
the words of Lord Grenville in writing to the viceroy, 
" actually well 1 " The struggle was therefore at an 
end, but not the results of that struggle. The master 
of the rolls, the treasurer, the clerk of permits, the 
postmaster-general, the secretary at war, the comp- 
troller of stamps, and many other public servants of 

* Diary of Thomas Moore, vi., p. 55. 

•f Buckingham Coirespondence, vol. ii., p. 117. 

^ Lifp of Sheridan, by Thpmas J/loore, cljap. :fijj. 


importance, were summarily expelled from office. 
The Duke of Leinster, one of the most respected 
officers of the crown, received a supersedeas, together 
with Lord Shannon. The influential family of Pon- 
8onhy,long the unwavering supporters of Government, 
but who on this occasion joined the legislature in 
asserting its constitutional independence, were also 
cashiered But the promotions and appointments 
vastly exceeded the dismissals. Of the former, which 
included a long string of creations in the peerage, 
there were forty— of the latter, fifteen only. Em- 
ployments that had long remained dormant were 
revived, useless places invented, sinecures created, 
salaries increased ; while such oflices as the board of 
stamps and accounts, hitheito filled by one, became 
a joint concern. The weighmastership of Cork was 
divided into three parts, the duties of which were 
discharged by deputies, while the principals, who 
pocketed the gross amount, held seats in Parliament. 
In 1790, one hundred and ten placemen sat in the 
House of Commons ! On February 11th in that 
year, Mr Forbes declared that the pensions had been 
recently increased upwards of £100,000. In 1789 
an additional perpetuity of £2800 was saddled on the 
country. The viceroy, however glad of his victory 
had not much reason, one would think, to be proud o! 
the means whereby that victory was attained. But an 
examination of his correspondence shows the utter un- 
icrupulosity of his heart. Writing to Lord Bulkley, 
he observes : — "In the space of six weeks I have secured 
to the crown a decided and steady majority, created 
in the teeth of the Duke of Leinster, Lord Shannon, 
Lord G-ranard, Ponsonby, ConoUy, O'Neil, united to 
all the republicanism, the faction, and the discontent 
of the House of Commons ; and having thrown this 
aristocracy at the feet of the king, I have taught to 
the British and Irish Government a lesson which 
Qllght qevef to be forgotten ; and I have the pride to 


recollect, that the whole of it is fairly to be ascribed 
to the steady decision with which the storm was 
met, and to the zeal, vigour, and industry of some 
of the steadiest friends that ever man was blessed 

Amongst " the steadiest friends" by whom the vice- 
roy was " blessed," the Sham Squire deserves mention. 
He worked the engine of the press with unflagging 
vigour, and by means of a forced circulation he suc- 
ceeded to some extent in inoculating the public mind 
with the virus of his politics. It was Lord Bucking- 
ham's policy to feed the flame of Shamado's pride and 
ambition ; and we are assured by John Magee, that 
so essential to the stabiUty of the Irish Government 
were the services of this once fettered malefactor, that 
on frequent occasions he was admitted to share the 
courtesies of the viceroy's closet. 

The fii'st allusion to Francis Higgins, which the 
leading organ of the popular party in the last century 
contains, is an article on March 8, 1789, wherein the 
Sham Squire is spoken of as " Frank Paragraph, 
the Stephen's Green Attorney," who on the previous 
night, having been escorted up the backstairs of the 
Castle by Major Hobart,* received the Marquis of 
Buckingham's hospitaUty and confidence. The ar- 
ticle concluded by expressing a hope that Frank, 
whether as an attorney, as proprietor of a prostitute 
print, or as the companion of a viceroy, should not, 
in the day of his happy exultation, forget his original 

Mr John Magee was the then proprietor of the 
Dublin Evening Post. Sir Jonah Barrington tells us 
that although eccentric he was a most acute observer, 
a smart writer, and a ready wit. Politically honest 
and outspoken, often to indiscretion, he enjoyed the 
confidence and love of the popular party in Ireland. 

* Major Hobart, afterwards Lord Buckinghamshire, was the dip- 
lomatic chief secretary for Ii-eland at this perio^. 


By the Government he was feare J and hated ; and on 
more occasions than one he was consigned to a dun- 
geon. Magee exercised considerable influence on the 
public events of his time, and he may be styled the 
Irish Oobbett of the eighteenth century. 

Against the Sham Squire Magee had no personal 
enmity ; and previous to 1789 there is no allusion to 
him direct or indirect ia the Post; but Mr Higgins's 
importance having in that year swelled to an unpre- 
cedented extent, as the accredited organ of the Oastle, 
Magee felt urged by a sense of public duty to declare 
uncompromising war against the fortunate adventurer. 
Probably Magee's labom-s had good effect in checking 
the further promotion of Higgins. 

Magee first wielded the lash of irony ; but finding 
that this failed to tell with sufficient effect, he there- 
upon applied the loaded bludgeon of denunciation. 
Several poetic diatribes appeared in the Post at this 
period ; but they are too voluminous to quote in full. 
One, in which the Sham Squire is found soliloquising, 
goes on to say : — 

" You know my power ; at my dread command 
B — 8, pimps, and biilliee, all obedient stand : 
Nay, well you know, at my terrific nod 
The Freeman lifts aloft the venal rod : 
Or if you still deny my sovereign awe, 
I'll spread the petty-fogging nets of law." 

Higgins's antecedents are glanced at : — 

" You know my art can many a form assume. 
Sometimes I seem a hosier at a loom ; 
Then at the changing of my magic wand 
Before your face a wealthy Squire I stand, 
With a Sham title to seduce the fair, 
And murder wretched fathers by despair." 

As soon as the struggle respectiug. the regency 
question had ceased, the viceroy is said to have ac- 
knowledged Higgins's fidelity by recommending him 

The iNFOEMEKS OF '98. 45 

to Lords Carhampton and Lifford* as a tit and 
pi-oper person to grace the magisterial bench I 
We resume the Sham Squire's soliloquy : — 

" And if Old Nick continues true, no bar shall 
Prevent me from becoming Four Courts marshaL 
Behold me still in the pursuit of gain, 
My golden wand becomes a golden chain. 
See how I loll in my judicial chair, ) 
The fees of office piled up at my rear ; V 
A smuggled turkey or illegal hare. ) 
Those I commit who have no bribe to give, — 
Rogues that have nothing don't deserve to live. 
Then nimbly on the turning of a straw, 
I seem to be a pillar of the law ; 
See even nobles at my tables wait. 

But think not that vlike idiots in your plays) 
My friendship any saves but him who pays; 
Or that the foolish thought of gratitude 
Upon my callous conscience can intrude ; 
And yet I say, not Buckingham himself 
Could pardon one, unless 1 touch the pelf ; 
There's not a robber hang'd, or pilferer whipt, 
Till at my word he 's halter'd or he 's stript."t 

By the Act 5 George the Second (c. 18, s. 2) no 
attorney can become a justice of peace while in prac- 
tice as an attorney; but in the case of the Sham 
Squu'e all difficulties were smoothed. Some of the 
most influential political personages of the time tra- 
velled out of the way in order to mark their approval 
of Mr Higgins's elevation. The letter to which we 
have already referred, signed " An Old Gray-headed 
Attorney," and published on July 23, 1789, records 
that Francis Higgins had the honour of being first 
" introduced as a justice of his Majesty's peace for the 

* Before Lord Lifibrd accepted the seals, then estimated as worth 
£12,000 per annum, they had been offered to Judges Smyth, Aston, 
and Sewell, of the English Bench, and declined. He was the son of 
William Hewit, a draper in Coventry, ant' began life as an attorney's 
clerk. See Irish PoUtical Characters — London, 1799, p. 58; also 
Sleator'a Dublin Chronicle, 1788-9, pp. 240, 560, 1266. Lord Lifford'g 
personality was £150,000. 

t Dublin Evening Post, Nu, ITli 

4G ntt SBAM SQtnliE ANb 

county of Dublia, to the bench assembled at K-ilmafn- 
ham, by the good, the virtuous, the humane Earl Car- 
hampton ; that peer who so truly, nobly, and gallantly 
added to the blushing honour of a before unsullied 
fame, by rescuing from a gibbet the chaste Mrs Lewel- 
lyn. Mr Higgins was also there, and there accompanied 
by that enlightened senator, independent placeman, 
and sound lawyer. Sir Frederick Flood, Bart."* 

Lord Carhampton, Governor and Oustos Kotulo- 
rum of the County Dublin, who regarded Higgins 
with such paternal patronage and protection, has re- 
ceived scant courtesy from the historians of Ms time. 
As Colonel Luttrel, he first attained notoriety at the 
Middlesex election, where he acted as unconstitutional 
a part as he afterwards did in Ireland in his mili- 
tary capacity. Mr Scott, on this occasion, publicly 
declared that Luttrel " was vile and infamous." Lut- 
trel did not resent the insult, and his spirit was called 
in question. An unpopular Cabinet and subservient 
Senate tried to force him, with 296 votes, instead of 
Mr Wilkes, with 1143 votes, on Middlesex as its 
representative ; but a later Parliament cancelled the 
unconstitutional record. " There is iu this young 
man's conduct," wrote Junius to Lord North, " a 
strain of prostitution, which for its singularity I can- 
not but admire. He has discovered a new line in the 
human character. He has disgraced even the name 
of Luttrel." These shafts told ; and we learn that 
policies of rnsvu'ance on Lord Carhampton's life were 
opened at Lloyd's Coffee-house, in London, f Unpopu* 
lar to loathing in England, and hooted from its shores, 

* Frederick Mood, Esq., K.C., M.P. for Wexford, received his 
baronetcy (which is now extinct) on June 3, 1780. Sir F. Flood 
also sat in the English Parliament. He was a commissioner of the 
Stamp Office. For a notice of Sir P. Flood see "A Review of the 
Principal Characters of the Irish House of Commons," by Falkland, 
(i.e., John Robert Scott, B.D.,) Loodon, 1795, p. 50; also Barring- 
ton's Personal Sketches, i. 207. 

t O'Callaghan's History of the Irish Brigades, vol. i., p. 364. 


tiuttrel came to try his fortune in Ireland, where, hay- 
ing openly joined the Beresford party in their system 
of coercion, he daily sank lower and lower in popular 
estimation. Lord Carhampton's utter contempt for 
pubhc reputation was evidenced in every act. Flip- 
pant and offensive in his speech — ^arrogant, haughty, 
and overbearing in his manner — steadily opposing, 
9n perverse principles, generous sentiments and pub- 
lic opinion — Lord Carhampton soon acquired an un- 
enviable character and fame. But even had his lord- 
ship had the purity of a Grattan or a Fox, he would 
have vainly attempted to cast off a hereditary stigma 
of unpopularity which was originally fastened on his 
family by Luttrel, the betrayer of King James. 

The picketings, free quarters, half-hangings, flog- 
gings, and pitch-cappings, which at length fanned the 
flame of disaffection into open rebellion, were under- 
stood to be mainly directed by Lord Carhampton. 
Li 1797 the Kev. Mr Berwick, under whose windows 
men had been flogged, and in some instances left for 
dead, having humanely procured proper surgical 
treatment for some of the sufferers, was sent for by 
Lord Carhampton, who told him " that he had hearvl 
he was interfering with what was going on ; that it 
was shameful for him ; and that if he persevered he 
would send him in four days on board the tender!"* 
Thirteen hundred of the king's subjects had been 
already transported by Lord Carhampton without 
trial or sentence, f 

Under the auspices of this peer, who at last at- 
tained the rank of commander-in-chief, the army 
were permitted to riot in the most demoralising 
licence. Cottages were burnt, peasants shot, their 
wives and. daughters violated.! Greneral Sir Ralpb 

• Grattan's Memoirs, vol. iv., p. 334. 
t Plowden's History of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 372. 
j Speech of Lord Moira, Nov. 22, 1797. See also Speeches ol 
Lord Dunsany, Sir L. Parsons, and Mr Vandeleur. 


Abercrombie viewed the state of tbe army witji dis- 
gust, and declared that they had become " formidable 
to all but the enemy." As a commander, Lcri5 
Carhampton was ruthless and capricious. The 
Lord-Lieutenant on several occasions interfered, but 
Lord Carhampton refused to obey him.* At last so 
detested did he become, that his own labourers con- 
spired to assassinate him in cold blood. But one 
named Ferris, having turned informer, the mur- 
derous design was fiustrated, and the ringleaders 

In the letter of " A Gray-headed Attorney," from 
which we have taken an extract, Lord Carhampton's 
name is mentioned in conjunction with that of a 
woman named Lewellyn, who seventy years ago en- 
joyed an infamous notoriety in Dublin. A young girl, 
named Mary Neal, having been decoyed into a house 
by Mrs Lewellyn, met with some ill-usage, for which 
Lord Carhampton got the credit. Against Mrs 
Lewellyn, as mistress of this house, the father of the 
girl lodged informations. But in order to avert the 
prosecution, a friend of Mrs Lewellyn, named Edge- 
worth, trumped up a counter-charge to the effect that 
Keal, his wife, and daughter, had robbed a girl, and 
thus got warrants against them. " She had interest 
enough with the gaoler," writes Hamilton Eowan, " to 
procure a constable who, in the middle of the night, 
took the Neals to Newgate, and locked them up in 
separate cells." Mrs Neal, it seems, was enceinte; 
and in the morning, on opening the cell, she and an 
infant, of whom she had been delivered, were found 
dead.t Neal was tried for the alleged robbery, but 
the case failed. Meanwhile, Mary Neal remained 
dangerously ill at a public hospital, where, adds Mr 
Eowan, " she was protected from the examinations 
and interrogations of some persons of high rank, 

Barrington's Rise and Fall of the Irish Nation, p. 261. 
t Autobiojjraphy of A. Hamilton Rowan, p. 95. 


which did them no credit, in order to intimidate 
her, and make her acknowledge that she was one 
of those depraved young creatures who infest the 
streets, and thus to defend Lewellyn on her trial." 
Mrs Lewellyn was tried for comphcity in the viola- 
tion, and received sentence of death. Edgeworth was 
convicted of subornation of perjury, and ordered to 
stand three times in the pillory, and to be imprisoned 
for one year. Both culprits were shortly afterwards 
pardoned and liberated by the viceroy I Several pam- 
phlets appeared on the subject. Hamilton Eowan 
wrote — "An Investigation of the Sufferings of John, 
Anne, and Mary Neal ; " another writer published — 
" The Cries of Blood and Injured Innocence ; or, The 
Protection of Vice and Persecution of Virtue," &c., 

addressed " to his ExceUency the Marquis of B ." 

Dr Boyton also entered the lists, and was called out 
by Lord Carhampton. Rowan espoused the cause of 
Mary Neal with Quixotic fervour. He challenged to 
mortal combat every man who dared to asperse her 
fame. He accompanied her to the castle, and pre 
sented a petition to the Lord-Lieutenant, praying 
that, as Lewellyn's " claim to mercy was founded on 
the principle of Mary Neal being soiled with guilt, 
which fier ooul abhorred, such a communication of 
the evidence might be made as she may defend her- 
seu ag'ainst." The viceroj. however, declined to 
granti the jrayer: and the statue or Justice over the 
castle gate was thereupon supposed to say — 

" Since Justice is now but a pageant of state, 
Kemove me, I pray you, from this castle gate. 
Since the rape of an infant, and blackest of crimes, 
Are objects of mercy in these blessed times, 
On the front of new prison, or hell let me dwell in. 
For a pardon is granted to Madame Lewellyn." 

John Magee declared that the Sham Squire's influ- 
ence in high quarters had been exerted to the utter- 
most in effectmg the liberation of Mrs Lewellyn and 


her obliging friend Bdgeworth. The Post of the day, 
in a parody on the Rev. Dr Burrowes' slang song, 
" The Night afore Larry was Stretched," tells us that, 

" Oh ! de night afore Edgwort was tried, 
De council dey met in despair, 

George Jos — he was there, and beside, 
Was a doctor, a lord, and a player.* 

Justice Sham den silence proolaim'd, 
De bullies dey all of them harken'd ; 

Poor Edgwort, siz he, will be framed. 
His daylights perhaps will be darken'd, 

Unless we can lend him a hand."t 

Several stanzas to the same eflfect are given. At 
length — some further squibs intervening — a valentuie 
from Maria Lewellyn to the Sham Squire aj^eared: — 

" With gratitude to you, my friend. 
Who saved me from a shameful end. 

My heart does overflow ; 
'Twas you my liberty restored, 
'Twaa you that influenced my lord, 

To you my life I owe. " J 

Mrs LeweUyn was not the only frail member of her 
family. Her sister, who kept a house of ill fame,§ 
fell from one crime to another, until at last, in 1765. 
it was deemed necessary to make a public example of 
her, and the wretched woman was burned alive in 
Stephen's Green 1 

But perhaps the best satu-e on the " Sham" which 
appeared in the Post, is an ingenious parody, extend- 
ing to fourteen stanzas, on a then popular slang song, 
" The Night afore Larry was Stretched," by the Kev. 
Dr Burrowes, and which, by the way, is said to have 

' Counsellor George Joseph Browne and Dr Houlton, assistant 
editors of the Freeman's Journal; Lord Carhampton, and Bichan/ 
Daly, lessee of Crow Street theatre. 

t Duhlin Evening Post, No. 1757. t Ibid., No. 1762. 

§ Female immorality seems to have been regularly punished in 
the last century. In the Freeman'i Journal of December 6, 1766, 
we read — "Alice Rice was pilloried at the Tholsel, pursuant to he» 
sentence, for keeping a house of ill fame in Essex Street" 


lost him a bishopric. Pandemonium, Beelzebub, and 
a select circle of infernal satellites, developing a series 
of diabolical plans, are described. In the ninth verse 
Shamado is introduced : — 

" From Erebus' depths rose each elf, who glow'd with infernal de- 
But their prince judged it fit that himself should alone holil con- 
fab with the Squire." 

The eleventh stanza is pithy — 

" "Tia well, said Shamado, great Sire I your law has been always my 
pleasure ; 
I conceire what your highness desires — 'tis my.duty to second the 

The deeper I plunge for your sake, the higher I raise my condi- 
tion ; 
Then who would his fealty break— to a prince who thus feeds his 

And gratifies every desire ? 

•' Through life I Ve acknowledged thy aid, and as constantly tasted 
thy bounty, 
From the Newgate solicitor's trade till a sub-sheriff placed in the 

Shall I halt in the midst of my sins, or sink fainting and trem- 
bling before 'em. 
When my honour thick-spreading begins — ^when, in fine, I am one 
of the quorum. 

And may in the senate be placed?"* 

In May 1789, Justice Higgins gave a grand enter- 
tainment to his patrons and supporters in Stephen's 
Green. All Dublin spoke of it; the papers of the 
day record it. Magee ridiculed the Sham Squire's 
pretensions. He called upon Fitzgibbon, the new 
chancellor, to reform the magistracy, and for a state- 
ment advanced in the following passage Magee was 
prosecuted by Higgins ; but of tms anon. " Can it 
he denied — nay, is it not known to every individual 
in this city — that the proprietor of a flagitious gam- 
bling-house — ^the groom-porter of a table which is 
nightly crowded with all that is vile, base, or blas- 
phemous in a great capital — that the owner and pro- 

* Dublin Evening Post, No. 1744, 

52 -xlIE SHAM SQtrilifi ANt) 

tector of this house is a justice of peace for the county 

Mr Higgins had no longer any necessity to bribe 
the judge's coachman to drive him through the streets 
in the judicial carriage. The Sham Squire had now 
a gorgeous chariot of his own. In the Post of June 
4, 1789, we find a description of it, — i.e., a dark 
chocolate ground, enlivened by a neat border of pale 
patent yellow ; the arms emblazoned in a capacious 
mantle on each panel. In front, behind, and under 
the coachman's footboard, the crest is handsomely 
engraved on every buckle of the silver-plated harness.t 
In this shining equipage, with as puffed a demeanour 
as Lord Clonmel or Sergeant Toler, Mr Higgins 
drove to the courts. We read, " Mr Higgins ap- 
peared in his place yesterday at the courts. He was 
set down in his own carriage immediately after tf?.at 
of the attorney-general." % And in a subsequent num- 
ber, it is reproachfully remarked, that Higgins sits on 
the same bench with Sergeant Toler, arrayed in chains 
of gold, and dispensing justice. § The ostentatious 
manner of the Sham, and his impudent swagger, ex- 
cited a general feeling of disgTist. He openly " boasted 
of his influence at the seat of power, and bragged that 
the police magistrates || lived on terms of the closest 
intimacy with him." T[ 

On Sunday, June 16, 1789, the celebrated pulpit 
orator, Walter Blake Kirwan, afterwards Dean of Kil- 
laJa, and originally a Roman Catholic priest, preached 
an eloquent sermon on morality in St Andrew's Church, 
and, according to the Post of the day, took occasion, 
in the course of his homily, to lash the proprietors of 
the flagitious gambling-house in CraneLane. ** Hig- 
gins denied that he was the proprietor of it ; but the 
Post persisted in declaring that if not the avowed 

• DuUin Evemtiff Post, No. 1769. t Ibid., No. 1770. 

t Ibid., No. 1767. § Ibid., No. 1779. || Ibid., No. 1783. 

1! Ibid.. No. 1760. •• Ibid., No. 1777. 


owner, he was the secret participator in its |)rofits. 
This vile pandemonium was said to jdeld £400 a year 
to Mr Higgins.* In vain were the authorities im- 
plored, year after year, to suppress it. At length the 
following curious " card," as a last resource, was 
published : — 

" The Freemen and Freeholders of the Parish of Saint 
Andrew's take the liberty to demand from Alderman Warren, 
their representative in Parliament, and president at the 
Police Board, why some measures are not taken by him im- 
mediately and effectually to suppress that nursery of vice 
— that receptacle for vagrants — that heU of Dublin — the 
gambling-house in Crane Lane. The alderman has been 
so repeatedly applied to on the subject that it is high time 
that Freeholders, who know and respect themselves, should 
no longer be trifled with. Keports are now current, and 
circulated with a confidence that renders inattention some- 
what more than censurable. A magistrate and a city repre- 
sentative ought to be above suspicion. The Freeholders 
are aware that infamous house is not in their district, yet 
they know how their representative ought to act whether 
as a uiim or a magistrate. His future conduct shall alone 
detcrmiuc their votes and influence." t 

Weeks rolled over, and stUl nothing was done. 
At length a correspondent, who signed himself " An 
Attorney," threw out the following astute inuendo: — 
" Alderman Nat and Level Low are in gratitude bound 
not to disturb the gambling-house in Crane Lane, as 
the Sham is very indulgent to them by not calling in 
two judgments which he has on their lands." J 

The sumptuousness of Mr Francis Higgins's enter- 
tainments excited much comment. Judges, as we 
are assured, revelled at his board. § The :police ma- 
gistrates basked in the sunshine of his smile ; || but it 
is at least gratifying to learn that there were some 

* Dvhlin Evening Post, No. 1782. t ^bid.. No. 1758. 

f Ibid., 'So. }789. I /Sid, No. 1756. il /6jrf., No. 1776. 


high legal functionaries who indignantly scouted the 
Sham Squire's pretensions. Magee observes, " To the 
honour of Lord Fitzgibbon, (Clare,) be it recorded, 
that he never dined with Higgins on his public days, 
or suffered his worship to appear at any table which 
his presence dignified."* 

Higgins, meanwhile, surrounded by a swarm of 
toadies and expectants for place, with a loose gown 
wrapped hke a toga around him, would sometimes 
swagger through the hall of the old Four Courts. 
He is traditionally described as having been one of 
the ugliest men in existence ; and the following con- 
temporary portrait, though somewhat exaggerated, 
serves to confirm that account : — 

" Through the long hall a universal hum 
Proclaims at length the mighty man is come. 
Clothed in a morning gown of many a hue, 
With one sleeve ragged and the other new ; 
While obvious eructations daub his chin 
With the remaining dregs of last night's gin ; 
With bloated cheek and little swinish eye, 
And every feature forra'd to hide a lie ; 
While every nasty vice, enthroned within, 
Breaks out in blotches o'er his freckled skin." 

The bard, after describing Enmity, Treachery, Du- 
plicity, and other disreputable qualities, adds : — 

" And artful Cunning, simpering the while, 
Conceals them all in one unmeaning smile. 

He comes, and round him the admii-ing throng 
Catch at the honey dropping from his tongue ; 
Now promises — excuses round him fly ; 
Now hopes are born — and hopes as quickly die ; 

Now he from b ds his daily rent receives, 

And sells indemnity to rogues and thieves." ■!■ 

The hall of the Four Courts, through which 
Francis Higgins was wont to stalk, is not the stately 
vestibule now known by that name in Dublin. The 
old Four Courts stood adjacent to Christ Church; 
its hall, crowned by an actangular cupola, was long 

• Vuhlin Evening Post, No. 1798. t Hid., No. 1746. 

rilE INFOEMKRS OF '98. 55 

and narrow, and entered by a door leading fi-om the 
lane known as " Hell." The chancellor, on enter- 
ing, was always preceded by his mace-bearer and 
tipstaffs, who were accustomed to call out, " High 
Court of Chancery," upon which the judges rose, and 
remained standing until the chancellor had taken his 

Daniel O'ConneU had some reminiscences of the 
old Four Courts and prison. The gaoler, it wiU he 
remembered, was the Sham Squire's father-in-law: — 
" As we drove along Skinner's Kow, O'Connell pointed 
out the ruins of the old Four Courts, and showed me 
where the old gaol had stood. ' Father Lube,' said 
he, ' informed me of a curious escape of a robber 
from that gaol. The rogue was rich, and gave the 
gaoler £120 to let him out. The gaoler then pre- 
pared for the prisoner's escape in the following man- 
ner: he announced that the fellow had a spotted 
fever, and the rogue shammed sick so successfully 
that no one suspected any cheat. Meanwhile the 
gaoler procured a fresh corpse, and smuggled it into 
the prisoner's bed ; while the pseudo-invalid was let 
out one fine dark night. The corpse, which passed 
for that of the robber, was decently interred, and the 
trick remained undiscovered tiU revealed by the 
gaoler's daughter, long after his death. Father 
Lube told me,' added O'Connell, ' that the face of the 
corpse was dappled with paint, to imitate the disco- 
lourment of a spotted fever.' " f 

To reduce the overcharged importance of the Sham 
Squire, Magee published, in June 1787, an outline oi 
his escapade in the family of Mr Archer. On June 
30, a note appeared from the " reverend gentlemen 
of Kosemary Lane," stating they had no oflficial or 
other knowledge of an imposture alleged to have 

* Gilbert's Dublin, vol. i., pp. 136, 137. 

t Personal KecoUections of O'Connell, by W. J. O'Neil Di^ivit, 
Tol. i., p. 110, 


been committed twenty-three years previously on the 
late Mr Archer by Mr Higgins, and adding/ that 
during Mr Higgins's residence in Smock AUey, bis 
conduct had always been marked with propriety and 
benevolence. " This sprig of rosemary," observed 
the Post, " may serve to revive the fainting inno- 
cence of the immaculate convert of St Francis." 
But in the following number a different aspect is 
given to the matter, thus : " We have it from autho- 
rity that the advertisement from the reverend gentle- 
men of Kosemary Lane chapel is a sham; for confir- 
mation of which we refer the inquirer to any of the 
reverend gentlemen of said chapel." * How far this 
may be in accordance with the truth, it is not easy to 

Mr Higgins was not without some redeeming 
qualities. He regularly attended divine service in 
the Protestant church of Saint Andrew, and he occa- 
sionally dispensed sums in charity. But for all this 
he received little thanks and less credit. In a tren- 
chant poem levelled at Higgins, numbering some 
fifty lines, and alleged to be from the pen of Hussey 
Burgh, we find : — 

'*' The cunning culprit understands the times, 
Stakes private bounty against public crimes, 
And, conscious of the means he took to rise, 
He buys a credit with the spoils of vice. " t 

The Sham Squire's duties were onerous and varied. 
He not only presided, as we are told, with the sub- 
sequent Lord Norbury, at Kilmainham,J but often 
occupied the bench of the Lord Mayor's court, and 
there investigated and confii-med the claims of per- 
sons to the rights and privileges of freemen. § 

Mr Higgins had, ere long, nearly the entire of the 
newspaper press of Dublin in his influence ; || to 

• Dublin Evening Post, No. 1782. f Ibid., No. 1794. 

i Hid., No. 1779. § Ihid., No. 178?. 

y /Jfd., No. 179§. ' 

THE INFOEMEliS OF '98. 57 

quote Magee's words, they were all " bowing down 
to Baal,"* or, as Magee's poet described the circum- 
stance : — 

" Now hireling scribes exert the venal pen, 
And in concerto shield this best of men." 

And again : — 

" Nay, e'en Shamado is himself on fire, 
And humdrum Houlton tunes his wooden lyre ; 
But virtue their resentment cannot dread. 
And Truth, though trampled on, will raise her head." t 

Dr Houlton, the Sham Squire's sub-editor, whose 
name frequently appeai-s in the local squibs of the 
day, is noticed in Boaden's " Life of Mrs Jordan," as 
" a weak man with an Edinburgh degree in physic, 
who wrote for a morning paper, and contributed 
a prologue so absurd that it has been banished from 
the play." J From Raymond's "Life of Dermody" 
we learn that Houlton humanely befriended the 
unfortunate poet. The doctor lost nothing by 
his connexion with Higgins. The same work in- 
forms us that he received " a medical appointment 
under the Irish Grovemment," and that his house 
in Dublin was as showy as his stj'le, having been 
put through a process of decoration by Daly's head 
scene-painter. § The "Literary Calendar of Living 
Authors," published in 1816, mentions that Houlton 
was a native of England, " practised in Ireland with 
some success," brought out some musical pieces on 
the Dublin stage, wrote poems for newspapers, and 
songs for VauxhaU ; and tlirough the patronage of 
Hook brought out at Drury Lane Theatre, in 1800, 
his opera called " WUmore Castle," which having 
been damned, he retorted in a pamphlet entitled " A 
Review of the Musical Drama of the Theatre Royal, 

* Suilin Evening Post, No. 1796. f Ibid., JHo, 1748. 

J Boaden'a Life of Mrs Jordan, vol. ii., p. 62, 

§ .Raymond's Life of Perflnody, vol. i., p. 26, et seg, 


Druiy Lane, Tending to Develop a System of Private 
Influence Injurious to the Public." 8vo. 1801. 

Houlton as a poetaster was useful on the Sham 
Squire's journal, which freely employed satirical poetry 
in assailing reputations. 

In 1789 the bill furnished by Higgins to the Trea- 
sury amounted to £2000; but the viceroy, we are 
told, cut it down to £1000.* 

* Dublin Evening Post, No. 1761. This payment may have been 
on account of proclamations inserted as advertisements ; but the 
Duke of Wellington's correspondence, when Irish Secretary, makes 
no disguise that all money paid en such grounds vpas for purposes 
of corruption. This arrangement was partially relinquished from 
the death of Pitt ; but in 1809, on the restoraiaon of the old Tory 
regime, we find a Dublin journalist petitioning for a renewal. Sir 
A. Wellesley, addressing Sir Charles Saxton, the under-secretary, 
alluded to " the measures which I had in contemplation in respect 
to newspapers in Ireland. It is quite impossible to leave them en- 
tirely to themselves; and we have probably carried our reforms in 
respect to publishing proclamations as far as they will go, excepting 
only that we might strike off from the .list of those permitted to 
publish proclamations in the newspapers, both in town and country, 
those which have the least extensive circulation, and which depend, I 
believe, entirely upon the money received on account of proclama- 
tions. / am one of those, however, who think that it will he very dan- 
gerous to allow the press in Ireland to take care of itself, particularly 
is it has so long, been in leading strings. I would, therefore, recom- 
mend that in proportion as you will diminish the profits of the 
better kind of newspapers, such as the Correspondent and the Free- 
man's Journal, on account of proclamations, ymi shall increase the 
sum they are allowed to charge on account of advertisements and other 
publications. It is absolutely necessary, however, to keep the 
charge within the sum of ten thousand pounds per annum, voted by 
Parliament, which probably may easily be done when some news- 
papers will cease to publiah proclamations, and the whole will 
receive a reduced sum on that account, even though an increase 
should be made on account of advertisements to the accounts of some. 
It will also be very necessary that the account of this money should 
be of a description always U, he produced before Parliament. — Ever 
yours, &c., Abthub Wklleblkt." 

Tills INFOKMERS QV 'fl8 59 


Lord Clonmel and the Fiats. — Richard Dfcly. — Persecution of Magee- 
— A Strong Bar. — Caldbeck, Duigenan, and Egan. — The Volun- 
teers to the Rescue. — Hamilton Rowan. — Artist Arrested for 
Caricaturing " the Sham." — ^A neat Stroke of Vengeance. — More 
Squibs. — Ladies Clonmel and Barrington. — The Gambling 
Hell. — Inefficiency of the Police. — Magisterial Delinquencies 
Exposed. — Watchmen and Watches. — Mr Gonne's Chrono- 
meter. — Juggling Judges.— Outrages in the Face of Day. — 
Ladies unable to Walk the Streets. 

Magee continued in his eiforts to take down the 
Sham Squire's pride and swagger. Squib after squib 

' There lives a Squire near Stephen's Green, 

Crockledum he, crocklodum ho, 
And in Newgate once was seen. 

Bolted down quite low. 
And though he now is a Just- Ass, 
There was a day when he heard mass, 
Being converted by a lass. 

There to cross and go. 
On stockiug-making he can jaw, 

Clookety heel, tippety toe ; 
Now an attorney is at law, 

Six and eightpence, ho ! " + 

These squibs Mr Higgins regarded as so many 
" infernal machines," and he resolved to show his 
own power, and to be revenged at the same time. 
Lord Chief-Justice Clonmel was known to entertain 
a strong prejudice against the press, especially such 
newspapers as adversely criticised the administration. 
In the authorised report of the parliamentary debates 
on April 8, 1784, his views on the subject are forcibly 
but curtly conveyed, viz. — " The Prime Sergeant ex- 
pressed his thoroiigh detestation of neivspapers and 

* Until 1793 Catholics were excluded from the magisterial bench, 
t Dublin Sveniag Post, No. 1796. 


public assassins of character."* We have already 
seen that Lord Clonmel, long after his eleyation to 
the bench and peerage, maintained friendly relatioiis 
with Higgins, in memory of auld kngsyne. "His 
lordship's house," observes a correspondent, " stood on 
the west side of Harcourt Street, near the corner of 
Montague Street. He possessed also very extensive 
pleasure-grounds on the east side of Harcourt Street, 
stretcliing behind the entire south side of Stephen's 
Green. A subterraneous passage under f Harcourt 
Street opened communication with those grounds, 
which joined the garden at the rear of Francis Hig- 
gins's mansion in Stephen's Green; and there is a 
tradition to the effect that some of the chief s inquisi- 
tive neighbours often used to see him making his way 
through the pleasure-grounds for the purpose of con- 
ferring with the Sham Squire." | 

Higgins is said to have directed Lord Clonmel's 
attention to Magee's lampoons, in many of which the 
chief himself figured subordinately. His lordship 
expressed indignation at liberties so unwarrantable, 
and seems to have encouraged the Sham Squire to 
follow up a plan of legal retribution, wliich the active 
brain of Higgins had been for some time concocting. 

In the various onslaughts which Magee made upon 
the Sham Squire, some passing prods were bestowed 
on Eichard Daly, the lessee of Crow Street theatre, 
on Charles Brennan, a writer for the Freeman's Jour- 
nal, as well as on a certain member of the female sex, 
whose name we omit in consideration to her now 
respectable relatives. With all these parties Higgins 
was believed to be on terms of close intimacy. In 
June 1789, four fiats, marked with the exorbitant 
sum of £7800, were issued against Magee by Lord 
Clonmel in the King's Bench, at the suit of Fraijcis 

* Irish Pari. Debates, vol. iii., p. 155. 

t MS. Letter of Dr T , 20th August 1859. 

J Tradition ooniniunioated by M S , Esq 

THE INFORMErtS OF '98. 61 

Higgins and the three other persons to whom we 
have alluded. The Evening Post of June 30, 1789, 
announces that " Magee lies on the couch of sickness 
in the midst of a dungeon's gloom," and publishes a 
long appeal from Magee to Lord Clonmel, which 
closes thus : — 

" I again demand at your hands, John Scott, Baron 
Earlsfort,* a trial by peers, by my feUows, free and inde- 
pendent Irishmen. Thou hast dragged a citizen by thy 
officers thrice through the streets of this capital as a felon. 
Thou hast confined before trial, and hast deprived a free 
subject of his franchise, that franchise for which his fathers 
bled on the walls of Derry, the banks of the Boyne, and 
the plains of Augrim. 

" John Scott, Baron Earlsfort, I again demand from theo, 
thou delegate of my Sovereign Lord the King, a trial by 

On July 3, 1789, the trial of John Magee, at the 
suit of Francis Higgins, was heard before Chief- 
Justice Olonmel. The Sham Squire, notwithstand- 
ing his reliance on the partiality of the judge and 
jury, found it advisable to retain a powerful bar, 
which included the Prime Sergeant, Mr Oaldbeck, 
K.C. ;"f" John Toler, afterwards Lord Norbury;J 
Sergeant Duquerry, § Eecorder Burston,|| Dr Pat 

* Mr Scott was created Baron Earlsfort in 1 784, a Viscount in 
1789, and Earl of Clonmel in 1793. 

t Caldbeck seems to have been as small as Tom Moore, and a 
great wit. His great grandson, Mr Wm. P. Caldbeck, has given us 
the following traditional anecdote of him : — " But you little vaga- 
bond," said the opposite counsel one day, " if you don't be cautious 
I'll put you in my pocket." "Whenever you do," retorted Cald- 
beck, " you '11 have more law in your pocket than ever you had in 
your head." 

X For a notice of Lord Norbury, see Appendix. 

§ Sergeant Duquerry, a forensic orator of great power, " died at 
the top first," like Swift, Plunket, Magee, Scott, Moore, and many 
a stately oak. For several years before his death, Duquerry groped 
in utter idiocy. 

II Beresford Burston will be remembered as the early friend of 
iloore. See Memoirs of Moore, vol. i., p. 79- 


Duigenan, * John, nicknamed "Bully" Egan,t 
George J. Browne, (Higgins's collaborateur,) with 
Messrs Ponsonby, Curran, Johnson, and the Hon. S. 
Butler. That the last three persons should have 
accepted briefs in the case, seems singular, considering 
their democratic bias. Curran's name is the history 
of his life ; Mr Johnson's is nearly forgotten ; but we 
may remind the reader that although a ju(^e, he 
libelled the Hardwicke administration, was tried for 
the offence, retired from the bench, and shortly before 
his death published a treasonable painphletj The 
Hon. Simon Butler became in 1792 a leading mem- 
ber of the Society of United Irishmen, was fined 
£500, and condemned to a protracted imprisonment 
in Newgate. 

* Dr Patrick Duigenan, originally a Catholic of low degree, hav- 
ing "conformed" and continued year after year to oppose the 
Catholic claims, with a virulence and violecee now almost incredible, 
was appointed by the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin, to pre- 
side as their judge in the Ecclesiastical Courts. He was twice 
married, and each time to a Catholic. He died in 1816. 

t John Egan's proficiency in vulgar wit and rough invective ia 
traditionally notorious. If a somewhat unregulated indulgence in 
this tendency obtained for him many enemies in early life, he had 
the satisfaction of finally making all Ireland his debtor, by his truly 
independent conduct at the period of the Union. TrampUng down 
the metaphorical sophistries of the Government spokesman, " he 
galloped," writes Sir Jonah Barrington, " like a dray-horse, over all 
his opponents, plunging and kicking, and overthrowing all before 
him." Tempting proposals were made to him if he would support 
the Union. He was offered to be made Baron of the Exchequer, 
with £3500 a year ; but Egan, although far from being rich, spurned 
the venial offer, and died soon after in comparative want. — Egan 
was fond of bathing at the Blackrock. One morning, having 
violently flung his enormous carcase into the water, he came into 
collision with some .other person who was performing a similar lave- 
ment. " Sir," screamed a mouth out of the water, " I presume you 
are not aware against whom you have so rudely jostled." " I didn't 
care if you were Old Nick," replied Egan, floundering about like a 
great sea monster. "You are a bear, sir," continued the mouth, 
" and I am the Archbishop of Dublin." " Well," retorted Egan, not 
in the least abashed, " in order to prevent the recurrence of such 
accidents, I would simply recommend you to get your mitre paiated 
on your back." 

t See Addenda, 


No good report of the trial, Higgins v. Magee, is 
accessible. We endeavoured to give the Sham Squire 
the benefit of his own report, but the file of the Free- 
man for 1789 does not exist even in the office of that 
journal. A very impartial account may be found in 
the Cork Evening Post of the day, from which we 
gather that Higgins proved the infamous gambling 
house in Crane Lane to belong to a Miss J. Darley. 
This evidence, however, did not alter Magee's opinion, 
and he continued to insist that the Sham Squire was 
a secret participator in its spoils. 

Poor Magee had not much chance against a bar 
so powerful and a judge so hostile. Strictly speak- 
ing, he had no counsel retained ; but we find that 
" for the teaverser there appeared as amici curice. 
Mr Lysaght, and Mr A. Browne of Trinity College." 
The latter gentleman, member for the University of 
Dublin, ard subsequently Prime Sergeant of Ireland, 
made a very able statement on the law of fiats. As 
a lawyer, Browne was far superior to Lord Clonmel, 
whose indecently rapid promotion was owing solely to 
his parliamentary services. In the following session of 
Parliament, Mr Browne, in conjunction with Mr, 
afterwards Chancellor, Ponsonby, brought forward a 
masterly exposure of the unconstitutional conduct 
adopted by Lord Clonmel at the instance of Franci? 
Higgins. This exposure with its salutary results 
will be noticed at the fitting period ; but meanwhile 
we wiU introduce here a few of the salient points in 
Mr Browne's able statement on the law of fiats. 

He expressed his amazement that a nation so astute 
in guarding through her statute book every avenue 
to oppression, should have passed unnoticed and left 
unguarded this broad road to tyranny. He was 
amazed how it could suffer a plaintiff to require baif 
to the amount of perhaps £20,000, where veri^ prob- 
ably the damages afterwards found by a jury, if any, 
might not he twenty pence. Having shown that fiats, 

64 Me sham SQtriftl; axu 

in Lord Clonmel's acceptation of the term, were 
utterly unknown to the common law, he added, " I 
am not sure whether, if Francis Higgins abused his 
adversary's counsel for two years together, they would 
be able to swear to twopenny worth of damages ; and 
therefore, when any man swears so positively, either 
he is particularly vulnerable, and more liable to dam- 
age than other men, or he is a bold swearer, and the 
judge ought not to listen to him." Mr Browne cited 
Blackstone, Baines, Gilbert, and a vast array of high 
legal authorities, to show the unconstitutional act of 
Lord Clonmel, in issuing fiats against Magee to the 
amount of £7800. It appears that even in the case 
of assault and battery, moderate fiats had been re- 
fused by the bench. Having, with great erudition 
discharged an important argument to show that 
special bail in this and similar actions was not re- 
quirable, Mr Browne proceeded to, prove that, even 
allowing it to be requirable, the present amount could 
not be justified by reason or precedent. The bail 
could only with propriety amount to such a sum as 
would be sufficient to insure an appearance. To 
imagine that Mr Magee would abscond and abandon 
his only means of earning a livelihood, was simply 

Mr Browne censured the manner in which Lord 
Clonmel prejudiced the case — " telling the jury be- 
fore the trial began what the damages were, which 
in the opinion of the judge they ought to give," — and 
Mr Browne adduced high legal authorities in proof 
of the error committed by Lord Clonmel. 

He then contrasted some of the few cases on record 
in which fiats were issued, with the cause then under 
discussion. Sir William Drake, a member of Parlia- 
ment, was charged with being a traitor. The words 
against him were of the most scandalous nature. His 
life and property were at stake : he brought his 
action, and on application special bail from defendant 


was refused. Another case was that of the Duke of 
Schomberg, a peer high in favour with his king and 
country. He was accused by a miscreant named Murray 
with having cheated the sovereign and the army. Can 
any words be conceived more shocking when applied 
to such a man ? Chief-Justice Holt, as great a 
friend to the revolution and to the liberties of the 
country as ever sat on a judicial bench, felt the same 
indignation, but he could not prejudice the cause. 
He was ready to punish the man if convicted, but he 
did not consider him convicted beforehand. He 
ordered Murray to find bail — two sureties in £25 
each, and the man in £100. In the last generation, 
£50 for a duke — ^in the present, £7800 for an adven- 
turer and a player I * 

At the close of the prosecution against Magee, at 
the suit of Francis Higgins, it was made the subject 
of bitter complaint by the prisoner that he had been 
refused the privilege of challenging his jurors, and 
the benefit of the Habeas Corpus Act. f 

The Lord Chief-Justice having summed up and 
charged, the jury retired, but returned in half an 
hour to ask the bench whether they might not find 
the traverser guilty of printing and publishing, with- 
out holding him responsible for the libel. His lord- 
ship replied that the jury had nothing to do with 
the law in this case, and that it was only the fact of 
publishing they had to consider. The jury then 
desired a copy of the record, but the request was 
refused. Having retired a second time, the jury at 
length brought in their verdict, " Gruilty of printing 
and publishing." Lord Earlsfort declined to accept 
the verdict. 

One of the jurors replied that the difficulty they 
found in giving a different verdict was, that they 

• Browne's Arguments in the King's Bench on the Subject of 
Admitting John Magee to Common Bail. Dublin, Gilbert, 1790. 
fr DvUin Evmirw Post, Ko. 1784 


could not reconcile it to their consciences to find a 
man guilty under a criminal charge, who had not 
been permitted to confront his accusers or his jurors, 
or to listen to the accusations against him, that ho 
might be prepared for his defence. Therefore, as 
the juiy had only seen the accusations on one side, 
without the defence of the accused, they could not 
feel themselves warranted in pronouncing a man 
guilty under a charge of criminal intentions. 

Lord Earlsfort replied that the very reason why 
they ought not to hesitate, was the one they used in 
support of their scruples, namely, " the traverser's 
making no defence to the charge against him." He 
desired that the jury might again retire. A juror 
said that they had abeady given the matter full con- 
sidei-ation, but the Chief-Justice interrupted him, and 
the jury were ordered to return to their room. 

Mr Browne, M.P., addressed a few words to the 
bench, but was stopped short by his lordship, who 
declared that he had already given the matter full 
consideration, and had made up his mind. The jury 
having again deliberated, returned with a verdict of 

This prosecution did not muzzle Magee. In the 
very number of his journal which contains a report 
of the trial reference is made to " the marquis, who, 
with that condescending goodness that agitates his 
heart when he can be of any use to Mr F. Higgins, 
his familiar friend, and he who in former days con- 
tributed not less to the festivity of his board, than 
generously catered for his pleasure," &c. And in 
Magee's Evening Packet, Shamado is again reminded 
of the awkward fact " that he has been at a public 
trial, convicted of crimes which the cordial squeeze 
of his friend Jack Ketch alone can expiate." f 

The trial of Daly versus Magee soon followed. Dr 

* DMin Evening Post, No. 1784. 
f Magee's Evening Packet, No. 621. 


Pat. Duigenan, "Bully" Egan, with Messrs Duquerry, 
Smith, Burston, Butler, Brown, Fleming, Ball, Cur- 
ran, and Green, were retained for the prosecution. 

Mr Kennedy, treasurer to the Theatre Koyal, Crow 
Street, was examined as a witness for Mr Daly. We 
extract a few passages : — 

" Were you ever witness to any riots in the theatre 1 
Very often. The people used to cry out from the gallery, 
' A clap for Magee, the man of Ireland — a groan for the 
Sham ! a groan for the Dasher [Daly] — out with the Ughts, 
out with the lights ! ' I have frequently, at the risk of 
my life, attempted to stop those riots." 

It further appeared that men used sometimes to 
come into the galleries with bludgeons and pistols. 
Mr Dawson, a person whom Mr Daly was in the 
habit of sending to London, with a view to the en- 
gagement of actors, was next examined. It tran- 
spired that Daly, in consequence of his unpopularity, 
found a difficulty in obtaining performers. 

" Is Mr Higgins proprietor of any paper 1 ^. I do not 
know. Q. Is he proprietor of the Freeman's Journal ? 
A. I have heard so. Q. Is there not a very particular 
intimacy between Mr Daly and Mr Higgins i A. Have I 
a right, my lord, to answer that question t 

" Court — No, I must object to that question. I think 
it wrong to endeavour to involve this case in any party or 
prejudice, &c. 

" Counsel for the Defendant — Do you believe yourself 
that there was any particular intimacy between Mr Daly 
and Mr Higgins 1 Sir, I know of no particular intimacy 
any more than between you and the many gentlemen who 
arc round you. 

" Court — You have answered very properly and clearly. 

"Q. There is a friendship between them? A. The 
same sort of friendship which subsists between man and 

* Trial of John Magee for Libel on R. Daly. Dublin, 1790, 
pp. 30, 31. 


There certainly was no stint of hard words between 
the rival editors. Magee insinuated that Eyder, the 
former lessee, had been tricked out of the patent by 
a manoeuvre of the Sham Squire's, and that Higgins 
and Daly conjointly held the licence.* But of any 
deliberate act of dishonesty, Daly was, we believe, 
incapable, although lax enough in other respects. 

Greorge Ponsonby conducted the defence-. He ridi- 
culed Daly's claims to damages ; and added, that for 
the torrent of abuse which had been thrown out 
against Magee in the Freeman no redress was sought. 
Mr Higgins had ridiculed Astley with impunity in 
the Freemom's Journal; and for pursuing the same 
course towards Daly, £8000 damages were claimed 
against Magee. 

Damages were laid at £8000 ; but the jury con- 
sidered that £200, with 6d. costs, was ample com- 
*)ensation for the wounded f eeUngs of Mr Daly. 

The Evening Post steadily declared that the up- 
roar in the gaUeries of Crow Street Theatre was due 
rather to Higgins and Daly than to Magee. In July 
1789, we are told that two men, named Valentine and 
Thomas Higgins, wool-scribblers, were " very active 
in several public-houses in and about the Liberty, 
endeavouring to persuade working people to accept 
tickets for the theatre, with express directions to 
raise plaudits for Daly and Higgins, and to groan 
Magee." t 

A few evenings after, an immense troop of " Li- 
berty Boys" in the Higgins interest proceeded to 
~ Crow Street Theatre, marshalled by a limb of the 
law named Lindsay.J 

"The general order is, knock down every man who 
groans for the Sham Squire or the Dasher ; and you have 
the guards at your back to take every man into custody 

• Dublin Evening Post, No. 1794. 

t Ibid., No. 1787-1788. + Jbicl, No. 1788. 


who resists you. On Tuesday night this party, highly 
whiskyfied, forced their way to the front row of the gal- 
lery, struck and insulted several of the audience there, and 
wounded the delicacy of the rest of the house by riotous 
vodferation and obscenity. Last night several people were 
knocked down by them; and some of the very persons 
who were seduced from the Liberty to the theatre, on 
their refusal to join in the purpose, were given into the 
custody of constables for disrespectful language to the said 
Lindsay, and others were pursued as far as Anglesea Street 
for the same cause."* 

On Magee's trial, the prosecuting counsel pro- 
duced the manuscript of an attack upon the Sham 
Squire in Magee's handwriting. Magee was at first 
somewhat surprised at the unexpected production of 
his autograph, but soon discovered by what means 
these papers got out of his hands. Breiman,t who 
had been a writer for the Post until 1788, when he 
joined the Freeman, conveyed to the Sham Squire 
several of Magee's private papers, to which, when 
retained in the office of the Post, at a salary of £100 
a year, he had easy access. J Brennan certainly swore 
to Magee's handwriting on the trial. On the evening 
that the Post advanced the above statement, " Bren- 
nan came to Magee's house concealed in a sedan- 
chair, and aimed with a large oak bludgeon ; and 
after rapping at the door, and being answered by a 
maid-servant, he inquired for Mr Magee with the 
design of assassinating him, had he been in the way ; 
but being told he was not at home, Brennan rushed 
into the chop, and with the bludgeon broke open and 
utterly demolished several locked glass-cases, together 
with the sashwork and glass of these interior glazed 
doors, as well as the windows facing the street. 
Brennan, in making his escape, was observed by a 

* DiMim Evening Pott, No. 1788. t IHd., No. 1794. 

J Breunan figures in the book of " Secret Service Mone^ Expen 
diture " as a recipient, tliongh not to a lai^e extent. 


man namevl M'Namara, who attempted to seize him ; 
but Brennan knocked him down by three blows of 
the bludgeon, and then kicked him unmercifully."* 

Brennan was committed to Newgate by Alderman 
Carleton ; but next day was set at liberty on the bail 
of two of Daly's officials, f This rather intemperate 
gentleman, however, had not been an hour at large 
when he proceeded to Magee's house in College Green, 
armed with a sword, but happily failed to find the 
object of his search.{ 

A word about the " Liberty boys," who, as Magee 
records, came forward as the paid partisans of Hig- 
gins, opens another suggestive glimpse of the state 
of society in Dublin at the period of which we write. 
Between these men and the butchers of Ormond Mar- 
ket, both noted for turbulent prowess, a feud long 
subsisted. On this stronghold the Liberty boys fre- 
quently made descents; a formidable battle raged, 
often for days, during which time the bridges across 
the Liffey, from Essex Bridge to " Bloody Bridge," 
were taken and retaken. Upwards of a thousand 
men were usually engaged ; business was paralysed ; 
traffic suspended; every shop closed; the executive 
looked on inert ; Lord Mayor Emerson was appealed 
to, but with a nervous shrug declined to interfere. 
The butchers, armed with huge knives and cleavers, 
did awful havoc ; the quays were strewed with the 
maimed and mangled. But the professional slaugh- 
terers were not always victorious. On one of the 
many occasions when these battles raged, the butchers, 
who displayed a banner inscribed, " Guild of the 
B. V. Mary," were repulsed by the Liberty boys near 
Francis Street, and driven down Michael's Hill with 
loss. The Liberty boys drank to the dregs their 
bloody cup of victory. Exasperated by the " hmigli- 
ing" with which the butchers had disabled for life 

» Dublin Evening Post. No. ii96. t Ibid., No. 1726. 

: Ibid., No. 179is. 


many of their opponents, the Liberty boys rushed 
into the stalls and slaughter-houses, captured the 
butchers, hooked them up by the chin in lieu of their 
meat, and then left the unfortunate men wriggling 
" alone in their glory." The Liberty boys were mostly 
weavers, the representatives of French artisans who, 
after the massacre of St Bartholomew, emigrated to 
Ireland. The late Mr Brophy, state dentist in Dub- 
lin, to whom the students of local history are indebted 
for many curious traditional data, told us that in the 
lifetime of his mother a French patois was spoken 
in the Liberty quite as much as English.* The 
author of_ " Ireland Sixty Years Ago" furnishes stir- 
ring details of the encounters to which we refer ; but 
he failed to suggest, as we have ventured to do, the 
origin of the feud. 

" No army, however mighty," said the first Napi> 
leon, addi-essing St Cyr, " could resist the songs of 
Paris." The Ormond boys, impelled by a similar 
policy, followed up their knife stabs with not less 
pointed lines. In one song the following elegant 
distich occurred : — 

" And we won't leave a weaver alive on the Coombe, 
But we '11 rip up his tripe bag and burn his loom. 
Ri rigidi di do dee." 

One of the last battles between the " Liberty" and 
Ormond boys took place on May 11, 1790. 

Meanwhile it became every day more apparent that 
the Sham Squire was a dangerous man to touch. On 
July 23, we learn that Mr James Wright, of Mar/a 
Abbey, was arrested for publishing a caricature like- 

* Dublin in these days possessed a Huguenot church and burial 
ground. A curious manuscript memoir, in the autograph of one of 
the Huguenot ministers, may be seen in a closet attached to Marsh's 
Library, Dublin. Among the influential French who emigrated to 
Ireland on the revoostion of the Edict of Nautes may be mentioned 
lie Poer Tranche, (ancestor of Lord Claucarty,) the La Touches, 
Saurins, VignoUes, La Bartes, Du Bedats, Moutmorencys. Pawina, 
De Blaquires, &c. 


ness of Justice Higgins.* A copy of this very rare 
print, representing the Sham Squire standing under 
a gallows, is now in the possession of Jaspar Joly, 
Esq., LL.D., who has kindly given the use of it for 
the illustration of this edition. Underneath is written 
" Belphegor, or the Devil turned Esquire," with the fol- 
lowing citation from the Psalms : ' ' Yet do I remember 
the time past: I muse upon my works, yea, I exercise 
myself in the works of wickedness." Nailed to the 
gibbet is an open copy of the " Infernal Journal," 
containing articles headed " A Panegyric on the Mar- 
quis of Misery" — " Prize Swearing" — " Dr Dove" — 
" A Defence of Informers" (a prophetic hit) — " San- 
grado" — " Theatre Koyal : Ways and Means ; to con- 
clude with the Marker's Ghost" f — "New Books: 
Houltoniana, or mode of Bearing Carrier Pigeons" J — 
" Bludgeoneer's Pocket Companion" — " Marquis de 
la Fiat." 

The appearance of Higgins, as presented in this 
print, is blotched, bloated, and repulsive, not unsug- 
gestive of the portraits of Jemmy O'Brien. A cable 
knotted into a pendent bow, appears beneath his chin. 
Surmounting the picture, as it also did the bench 
where Higgins sometimes administered the justice he 
had outraged, is " Fiat justitia." 

With a sort of barbed harpoon Magee goaded 
" the Sham" and his friends. In addition to the 
Post, he attacked him in Mctjgee's Weekly Packet. 

* Dublin Evening Post, No. 1792. 

t Magee accused Daly of having murdered a billiard marker, of 
which anoD. 

i In those days a good deal of lottery stock-jobhing took place 
through the agency of carrier pigeons. A poem in blank verse, for 
which Magee was prosecuted by Daly, recites, among other irksome 
hits — 

" The priests, the cabalistic numbers cry, 
The doctor ties them round a pigeon's neck, 

who flies, 
And on Francisco's portal plumes his wings." 

— See Sheridan's Argument, Daly ». Magee, p. 10. 


The number for Saturday, October 17, 1789, contains 
another caricature likeness of the Sham Squire, in a 
woodcut, entitled " The Sham in Lavender." He is 
made to say, "I'm no Sham — I'm a Protestant 
Justice— 111 Newgate the Dog." At his feet his 
colleague, George Joseph Browne, is recognised in 
the shape of a cur dog. Behind him stands Mrs 
Lewellyn in the short petticoats, high-heeled shoes, 
large hat, and voluminous ringlets of the day 
Under her feet is a letter, addressed " Mrs Lewel- 
lyn, Cell, Newgate — Free — Carhampton;" while 
Lord Chief-Justice Olonmel, presiding, fraternally 
accosts Higgins as Prank, and confesses, with an 
oath, that they were undone! — sentiments which we 
now find the Chief-Justice was recording at the 
same moment in his private Diary. 

Verses, painfully personal, accompanied the pic- 
ture, but conceived in a more legitimate vein of 
sarcasm was another piece : — 

" In a poem, I think, called ' The Author,' you '11 find 
Two lines, mjr dear Sham, which occurr'd to my mind, 
When the PacJcet I saw, and your worship saw there. 
And your worship so like to yourself did appear; 
They were written by Churchill, and though they displease, 
You must own they are apt, and the lines. Sham, are these : 
' Grown old in villainy, and dead to grace, 
Hell in his heart, and Tyburn in his face.' " * 

At a meeting of the Dublin Volunteers on July 10, 
1789, it was resolved: — " That, as citizens and men, 
armed in defence of our liberties and properties, we 
cannot remain unconcerned spectators of any breach 
of that constitution which is the glory of the empire. 
That the violation of the fundamental laws of these 
kingdoms occasioned the melancholy catastrophe of 
1648; that the violation of these laws brought on the 
glorious revolution of 1688 ; that we look upor) the 

• Magei I Evening Packet, Oct. 17, 1789, ' 


trial by jury, with all the privileges annexed to it, to 
be a most essential part of those laws ; that we highly 
approve of the firm conduct of our worthy fellow- 
citizen, on a late transaction, in support of those gifts." 

Archibald Hamilton Eowan, then a highly influen- 
tial personage, addressed a public letter to Magee, 
saying : — " It is with regret I have beheld you deprived 
of the inalienable rights of every British subject on 
your late trial. I have no doubt but that such arbi- 
trary conduct as marked the judge who presided on 
that day, -will be severely punished, and that you, sir, 
will not be so wanting to your feUow-subjects as not 
to bring it before the proper tribunal. This being the 
cause of every man, it ought to be supported from the 
common purse, and not be an injury to your private 
circumstances. If any subscription for that purpose 
should be accepted by you, I request you wiU set down 
my name for twenty-five guineas." 

It is a notable instance of Magee's independence of 
character, that he declined to accept one farthing of 
the public subscription which had just been inaugu- 
rated, with such promise of success, in his honour. 
This spirited determination was the more remarkable, 
as his pecuniary losses, in consequence of the oppres- 
sive treatment to which he was subjected, proved most 
severe, as we shall presently see. 

In Mr Sheridan's arguments, before the judges of 
the King's Bench, to admit John Magee to common 
bail for lampooning the Sham Squire's colleague, it is 
stated : — 

" Magee has made an affidavit in which he swears that a 
writ issued in last Trinity Term to the sheriffs, marked for 
X4000, under authority of a fiat granted by the Lord Chief- 
Justice, and founded on an affidavit ; that upon such writ 
he was arrested in June last ; that in consequence of a 
number of vexatious suits and prosecutions against liim, 
and from the reiterated abuse he has received in the Free- 
man's Journal, he is extreaiely injured in his credit, inso- 


much that though he has used every eflfort in his power, he 
cannot now procure one bail in this cause for the amount 
of the sum marked at the foot of said writ, or of any 
larger amount than £500, and saith he verily believes that 
the plaintiff had not suffered damage in this cause to any 
amount whatever."* 

These denunciations v?ould doubtless have been 
stronger were it possible for the patriot mind of John 
Magee to have taken a prophetic view of the events 
of '98, and witnessed, like Asmodeus, certain dark 
doings which the vulgar eye failed to penetrate. 

The subterranean passage and the winding path 
through Lord Clonmel's pleasure ground facilitated 
the intercourse between him and Shamado, which, 
as we gather from tradition and contemporary state-, 
ment, was briskly kept up. Higgins's journal was 
the organ of Lord Clonmel's party, and in a letter 
addressed to the latter, published in Magee's Evening 
Packet,-^ we are told : — 

"It is made no secret, my lord, that these ingenious 
sophistications and learned commentaries which appeared 
in the Higgins journal, in that decent business, had the 
honour of your lordship's inspection and correction in MS., 
before they were committed to the press." 

The visits of the influential and proverbially-con- 

* Thia scarce pamphlet was printed and published In Loudon — a 
circumstance illustrative of the wide sensation which Lord Clonmel's 
arbitrary conduct excited. Mr Sheridan having brought forward a 
host of high law authorities to show the illegality of holding to 
special bail a man charged with defamation, proceeded to exhibit the 
ludicrous weakness of the affidavit upon which Lord Clonmel issued 
a fiat for £4000. Daly's claims against Magee for damages were 
based upon a mock heroic poem in which Daly was supposed to 
figure under the title of Koscius, and Higgins under that of 
Francisco. Daly having recited this absurd poem in his affidavit, 
added that he had childi-en, " among whom are four growing up 
daughters, who in their future prospects may receive considerable 
injury;" and Daly wound up by swearing that he had suffered 

damages to the amount of £4000 by tha injuries which hii 

family, or himself might hereafter suffer I 

+ No. 021. 


vivial chief must have been hailed with no ordinary 
pleasure and welcome. Sir Jonah Barrington, who 
lived next door to him in Harcourt Street, writes — 
" His skill was unrivalled, and his success proverbial. 
He was fuU of anecdotes, though not the most refined; 
these in private society he not only told, but acted; 
and when he perceived that he had made a very good 
exhibition he immediately withdrew, that he might 
leave the most lively impression of his pleasantry 
behind him. His boldness was his first introduction ; 
his policy his ultimate preferment. Courageous, 
vulgar, humorous, artificial, he knew the world well, 
and he profited by that knowledge. He cultivated 
the powerful; he bullied the timid; he fought the 
brave ; he flattered the vain ; he duped the credulous; 
and he amused the convivial. He frequently, in his 
prosperity, acknowledged favours he had received 
when he was obscure, and occasionally requited them. 
Half-liked, half-reprobated, he was too high to be 
despised, and too low to be respected. His language 
was coarse, and his principles arbitrary; but his pas- 
sions were his slaves, and his cunning was his instru- 
ment. In public and in private he was the same 
character ; and, though a most fortunate man and a 
successful courtier, he had scarcely a sincere friend or 
a disinterested adherent." 

It may amuse those familiar with the locality men- 
tioned above, to teU an anecdote of the projecting 
bow-window, long since built up, which overhangs 
the side of Sir Jonah's former residence, No. 14 
Harcourt Street, corner of Montague Street. Lord 
Clonmel occupied the house at the opposite corner, 
and Lady Clonmel affected to be much annoyed at 
this window overlooking their house and movements. 
Here Lady Barrington, arrayed in imposing silks 
and satins, would daily take up position, and placidly 
commence her sm-vey. Sir Jonah was remonstrated 
with, but he declined to close tlie obnoxious window. 

THE infokmeks of '08. 77 

Lady Clonmel then took the difficulty in hand, and, 
with the stinging sarcasm peculiarly her own, said, 
" Lady Barrington is so accustomed to look out 
of a shop window for the display of her silks and 
satins, that I suppose she cannot afford to dispense 
with this." 

The large how-window was immediately built up, 
and has not since been re-opened. Lady Barrington 
was the daughter of Mr Grogan, a silk-mercer of 
Dublin. Lady Clonmel was a Miss Lawless, related 
to the Cloncurry family, who rose to opulence as 
wooUen drapers in High Street. The Lawlesses, who 
held their heads high, more than once got a Koland 
for an Oliver. The first Lord Cloncurry having gone 
to see the pantomime of Don Quixote, laughed im- 
moderately at the scene where Sancho is tossed in the 
blanket. On the following morning the Sham Squire's 
journal contained the following epigram : — 

" Cloncurry, Cloncurry 1 

Why in such a hurry 
To laugh at the comical squire ' 

For though he's toss'd high, 

Yet you cannot deny 
That blankets have toss'd yourself higher." 

"Arcades ambo — ^brothers both," was applicable, 
in more than one sense, to the Chief-Justice and 
the Sham Squire. " I sat beside Higgins at a Lord 
Mayor's banquet, in 1796," observed the late John 
Patten; "now, sixty years after, I remember how 
strongly his qualities as a humorist impressed 

Mr Higgins plumed himself on being a little 
Curran, and cultivated intimacies with kindred hu- 
morists, amongst whom we are surprised to find Father 
Arthur O'Leary, one of the persons named advan- 
tageously by Higgins in his will.* O'Leary was one 

* Last will of Francis Higgins, preserved in the Prerogative 
Court, Dubiin- 


)f those memorable Monks of the Screw who used tc 
jet in a roar Curran's table at " the Priory."* " The 
3ham," who loved to ape the manners of those above 
lim, also called his country seat, at Kilmacud, " the 
Priory ;"t and we believe it was to him that Dick 
Hetherington,J in accepting an invitation to dinner, 
wrote: — 

" Though to my ankles I '11 be in the mud, 
I hope to be with you at Kilmacud."§ 

Though in open defiance of the laws, the gambling 
hell in Crane Lane was still suffered to exist, under 
the very shadow of the castle, and within three 
minutes' walk of the Board of Police. Whether 
Higgins was really a secret partner in its profits, 
as confidently alleged, we shall not now discuss, 
although contemporary record and tradition both 
favour the allegation. 

Mr Francis Higgins was certainly no novice in the 
art and mystery of the gambling table. A scarce 
pubKcation, printed in 1799, from the pen of Henry 
MacDougall, M.A., and entitled, " Sketches of Irish 
Political Characters," mentions " the Sham's admis- 
sion to the profession of attorney, in which his prac- 
tice is too notorious to require statement;" and adds, 
" His next step to wealth was in the establishment of 
a hazard table, which soon attracted a number of 
sharps, scamps, and flashmen; and they as soon at- 

* A few of O'Leary's jokes have been preserved. " I wish you 
were St Peter," said Curran. " Why ? " responded the Friar. 
" Because you could let me into heaven." " It would be better 
that I had the key of the other place," replied O'Leary, " for then 
I could let you out." For illustrations of O'Leary's humour see 
Recollections of John O'Keeffe, vol. i., p. 245; Beminiscences of 
Michael Kelly, vol. i., p. 301 ; Barrington's Personal Sketches, vol. ii., 
pp. 131-137; and the Memoirs of O'Leary, by Eev. Dr England. 

t Statement of T F , Esq., J.E., formerly of the Priory, 

Kilmacud. In 1869 the house was pulled down. 

% Richard Hetherington will be remembered as the correspondeut 
of Curran. — (See Memoirs of Curran, passim.) 

§ Communicated by the late M. Brett, Esq. 


tracted the attention of the Sham, ever on the watch 
to promote his own interest. The sharp was useful 
to cheat the unwary of their money, and keep it in 
circulation at his tahle. The scamp plundered on 
the road, visited the Oomer House, and if taken up 
by the officers of justice, he seldom failed, for ac- 
quaintance' sake, to employ the owner in his capacity 
of solicitor. The flashman introduced Higgins to the 
convenient matron, whom he seldom failed to lay 
under contribution — the price of protecting her in 
her profession." We further learn that the city 
magistrates were all afraid to interfere with Mr 
Higgins and his delinquencies, lest a slanderous 
paragraph or lampoon from the arsenal of his press 
should overtake them. 

Ten years previous to the pubKcation of the fore- 
going, the vigilant moralist, Magee, laboured to arouse 
the magistracy to a sense of their duty. " For fifteen 
years," we are told, " there has existed, under the eye 
of the magistracy, in the very centre of the metropolis, 
at the comer of Crane Lane, in Essex Street, a noto- 
rious school of nocturnal study in the doctrine of 
chances ; a school which affords to men of the town 
an ample source of ways and means in the pluckings 
of those unfledged green-horns who can be inveigled 
into the trap; which furnishes to the deluded ap- 
prentice a ready mart for the acquisition of experi- 
ence, and the disposal of any loose cash that can be 
purloined from his master's tiU; which affords to the 
working artisan a weekly asylum for the reception of 
that stipend which honest industry should allot to the 
purchase of food for a wife and children ; and which 
affords to the spendthrift shopkeeper a ready transfer 
office to make over the property of his creditors to 
the plunder of knaves and sharpers."* 

Two months after we find addressed to the autho- 

* DuUin Evening Poll, "So. 1782. 


iities a further appeal, occupying several columna 
and to the same effect.* 

But the Board of Police was, in fact, eminently im- 
becile. Among a long series of resolutions adopted 
in August 1789, by the gifted men who formed the 
Whig Club, we find : " The present extravagant 
ineffectual, and unconstitutional police of the city of 
Dublin has been adopted, continued, and patronised 
by the influence of the present ministers of Ireland. 
All proceedings in Parliament to remove the grievance, 
or censure the abuse, have been resisted and defeated 
by the same influence. The expediency of combating 
by corruption a constitutional majority in Parliament 
has been publicly avowed, and the principle so avowea 
has been carried into execution." 

At last a committee was granted to inquire into the 
police, whose extravagance and inefficiency had now 
rendered them notoriously contemptible. They had 
long wallowed in indolent luxuriousness on the public 
money. Among their items of expense were : " For 
two inkstands for the police, £5, 6s. 6d. ; three 
penknives, £2, 2s. 3d. ; gilt - edged paper, £100 ; 
' Chambers's Dictionary,' £11, 7s. 6d." Among their 
books was " Beccaria on Crime," with a commentary 
from Voltaire.t 

A curious chapter might be written on the short- 
comings of the Dublin police and magistracy, not only 
during the last, but even throughout a portion of the 
present century. If not too digressive, a glance at 
those shortcomings may amuse the reader. 

" During the existence of the Volunteers," observes 
Counsellor Walsh, a conservative writer of much 
accuracy, "gentlemen of that body for a time 
arranged among themselves to traverse tne streets at 
night, to protect the peaceably-disposed inhabitants, 
and men of the first rank in the kingdom thus volun- 

• lluhlin Evening Pott, No. 1801. 

+ Qrattan's Memoirs, voi iiL, p. 456, 

THE INFOBMEllS OF '98. «1 

tarily discharged the duties of watchmen. But the 
occupation assorted badly with the fiery spirits on 
whom it devolved, and the streets were soon again 
abandoned to their so-called legitimate guardians. 
In the day-time the streets were always wholly unpro- 
tected. The first appointment even of a permanent 
night-watch was in 1723, when an act was passed 
under which the different parishes were required to 
appoint ' honest men and good Protestants' to be 
night watches. The utter ineflSiciency of the system 
must have been felt ; and various improvements were 
from time to time attempted in it, every four or five 
years producing a new police act — with how little 
success every one can judge who remembers the 
tattered somnambulists who represented the ' good 
Protestant watchmen' a few years ago. Several at- 
tempts had also been made to establish an efficient 
civic magistracy, but with such small benefit that, 
until a comparatively recent period, a large portion of 
the magisterial duties within the city were performed 
by county magistrates, who had no legal authority 
whatever to act in them. An office was kept in the 
neighbourhood of Thomas Street by two gentlemen 
in the commission for the county, who made a yearly 
income by the fees ; and the order to fire on the mob 
who murdered Lord KUwarden, so late as t?03, was 
given by Mr Bell, a magistrate of the county tund not 
the city of Dublin. Another well-known member of 
the bench was Mr Drury, who halted in his gait, and 
was called the 'lame justice.'" On the occasion 
mentioned by Mr Walsh, Drury retired for safety to 
the garret of his house in the Coombe, from whence, 
as Ourran remarked, " he played with considerable 
effect on the rioters with a large double-barrellecf 

It is to be regretted, however, that irregularity and 
imbecility are not the worst charges to be brought 
against the justices of "Oublin, even so late as fifty 


years ago. Frank Thorpe Porter, Esq., late police 
magistrate of Dublin, has preserved official tradition 
of some of his more fallible predecessors, Mr Gonne 
having lost a valuable watch, was urged by a private 
hint to remain at the, outer door of the police office, 
and when the magistrate came out, to ask him the 
hour. The "justice" took out a watch, and an- 
swered the question. Its appearance at once elicited 
from Gonne the longest oath ever heard before a 

justice. " By ," he exclaimed, " that watch is 

mine I " 

" Gonne obtained his watch," adds Mr Porter, " and 
was with great difficulty prevented from bringing the 
transaction under the notice of the Government. The 
system by which the worthy justice managed occa- 
sionally tk, possess himself of a valuable watch, or 
some other costly article, consisted in having two or 
three drawers wherein to keep the property found 
with highwaymen or thieves. If the prosecutor iden- 
tified the delinquent, he was then shown the right 
drawer ; but if he could not swear to the depredator's 
person, the wrong drawer was opened. The magistrate 
to whom tliis narrative refers was dismissed in a short 
time for attempting to embezzle fifty pounds."* 

Before the establishment of the petty sessions 
system in Ireland, magistrates in the safe seclusion 
of their closets were often betrayed into grossly dis- 
reputable acts. A parliamentary inquiry, in 1823, 
into the conduct of Sheriff Thorpe, exposed, in pass- 
ing, much magisterial delinquency. 

Mr Beecher said, " It was no uncommon thing, 
when a friend had incurred a penalty, to remit the 
fine, and to levy a penalty strictly against another 
merely because he was an object of dislike." Major 

* Some notice of the embezzlemeuta aocompliBhed by Baron 
Power and Sir Jonah Barrington, both judges on the Irish bench, 
will ha found in our Appendix. 


Warburton proved that a female had been sent to 
America by a magistrate without any legal proceed- 
ing whatever. Major Wilcox established the fact 
that some justices of the peace were engaged in illicit 
distillation, and that they took presents and bribes, 
and bail when other magistrates refused; that they 
took cross-examinations where informations had been 
already taken by other magistrates. " They issued 
warrants against the complaining party in the first 
instance, at the suggestion of the party complained 
against." It further appeared that some magistrates 
took fees in money, and not unfrequently rendered 
official services in consideration of having their turf 
drawn home, or their potatoes planted. The Eev. 
M. Collins, afterwards Bishop of Cloyne, proved that 
magistrates corruptly received presents of corn, cattle, 
potatoes, and even money. Mr O'Driscoll alleged that 
there were several magistrates trading on their office ; 
they " sell justice, and administer it favourably to the 
party who pays them best." " It is a convenient 
thing," said O'Connell, "for a man to have the com- 
mission of the peace, for he can make those he dis- 
akes fear him, and he can favour his friends." In Mr 
Daunt's " Conversations of O'Connell," the details 
are given of a certain justice who threatened to flo^ 
and hang the sons of a widow to whom his worshij 
owed £2000, unless she pledged herself to rsincel th« 

With magistrates like these, and with powerless 
police such as we have described, it is no wonder that 
a walk in the streets of Dublin should have been en- 
compassed with peril. Stephen s Green, the residence 

* For full details, see vol. ii., p. 131. In one of O'ConneU'o pub 
lie letters, he made toucUmg reference to the fact, that he had 
knovni peasant girls sometimes driven to surrender what ought to 
be dearer than life, as part ol on unholy compact with magistrates 
who bad threateued the life or liberty of a father or brother ! 


of the Sham Squire, was especially infested with 
footpads, who robbed in a manner peculiar to them- 

" So late as 1812," says the author of " Ireland 
Sixty Tears Ago," " there were only twenty-six small 
oil lamps to light the immense square of Stephen's 
Green, which were therefore one hundred and seventy 
feet from one another. The footpads congregated in 
a dark entry, on the shady side of the street, if the 
moon shone ; if not, the dim and dismal light of the 
lamps was little obstruction. A cord was provided 
with a loop at the end of it. The loop was kid on 
the pavement, and the thieves watched the approach 
of a passenger. If he put his foot in the loop it was 
immediately chucked. The man fell prostrate, and 
was dragged rapidly up the entry to some cellar or 
waste yard, where he was robbed and sometimes 
murdered. The stun received by the fall usually 
prevented the victim from ever recognising the rob- 
bers. We knew a gentleman who had been thus 
robbed, and when he recovered found himself in an 
alley at the end of a lane off Bride Street, nearly naked, 
and severely contused and lacerated by being dragged 
over the rough pavement."* 

When men fared thus, it may readily be supposed 
that ladies could not venture out alone. " It is 
deemed a reproach," says an author, writing in 1775, 
" for a gentlewoman to be seen walking in the streets. 
I was advised by my bankers to lodge in Oapel Street, 
near Essex Bridge, being in less danger of being 

* Almoat equally daring outrages on the liberty of the subject 
»fere nightly practised, with connivance of the law, by "crimp 
aerg«ant8," who by brutal force, and aometimea by fraud, secured 
the unwary for foreign enliatment. Attractive women were em. 
ployed to seduce peraona into conversation preparatory to the crimp 
sergeant's seizing them in the king's name. Startling detaib o^ 
these outrages, which were often marked by bloodshed, will be 
found in the Dublin newspapers of 1793 and 1794, passim. See 
also the Irish Masonic Magazine for 1794, pp. 94, 190, 284, 883, 
482, 570. 

THE INF0KMER3 OF '98. 85 

robbed, two chairmen * not being deemed sufficient 

Twenty years later found no improvement. The 
" Anthologia Hibernica " for December 1794, p. 476, 
furnishes new proofs of the inefficiency of the police. 
Kobbery and bloodshed " within a few yards of the 
guard-house in Fleet Street" is described. 

It does not always follow that idleness is the 
mother of mischief, for we find that combination 
among the workmen of Dublin also attained a for- 
midable pitch at this time. The Dublin Chronicle 
of January 28, 1792, records : — 

"On the several mornings of the 17th, 18th, 19th, and' 
20th inst., a number of armed persons, journeymen tailors, 
assembled in a riotous manner about the house of Mr 
Miilea, Ross Lane; Mr Leet, Merchant's Quay ; Mr Walsh, 
Castle Street; Mr Ward, Cope Street; and the houses 
of several other master tailors, and cut, maimed, and 
abused several journeymen tailors who were peaceably 
going to their respective places of employment; one of 
said men, named Michael Hanlon, was killed on the spot, 
in Cope Street; two have had their hands cut off; several 
others have been cut and bruised in such a manner as to 
be now lying dangerously ill ; and some journeymen are 
missing, who, it is reported, have been murdered and 
thrown into the river." 

* Sedan-bearers, familiarly gtyled "Cliristiau Ponies. '' There il 
a well-known story in Ireland of a Connaughtman, who, when en 
luring a sedan chair, found that the bottom had, by some accident, 
fallen out of it, but, neyertheless, he made no demur, and walked 
to his destination in the chair. On getting out he remarked to the 
men who assumed to convey him, " Only for the honour of tii« 
thing I might as well have walked." 

t Philosophical Sun-ey, p. 4*J. 



Magee's Vengeance on Lord Clonmel. — Hely Hutchinson. — liord 
Clare. — The Gtoda of Crow Street. — Renewed Effort to Muzzle 
Magee. — Lettrea de Cachet in Ireland. — Seizures. — George 
Ponsonby and Arthur Browne. — Lord Clonmel crushed. — Hia 
Dying Confeaaion. — Extracts from hia Unpubliahed Diary. — 
Deserted by the Sham Squire. — Origin of his Wealth. — More 

The spirit of John Magee was indomitable. An 
interval of liberty between his conviction and sen- 
tence from Lord Clonmel was now at his disposal, 
and he certainly employed it in a singular way. 
Profoundly indifferent to all personal consequences, 
he most imprudently resolved to spend a considerable 
sum of money in wreaking his vengeance on Lord 
Clonmel. This eccentric scheme he sought to carry 
out in an indirect and, as he felt assured, a per- 
fectly legal manner. Having found himself owner 
of £14,000, Magee settled £10,000 upon his family, 
and with a chuckle declared that the balance it was 
his intention, "with the blessing of Grod, to spend 
upon Lord Clonmel."* The unpopular chief of the 
King's Bench resided in a handsome villa near the 
Black Eock, now known as Temple HUl, but then 
styled Neptune, t On the splendid parterres and 
pleasure-grounds which luxuriantly environed it 
Lord Clonmel had spent several thousand pounds, 
while in the direction of the improvements many an 
anxious and a precious hour had been consumed. 
The wild and uncultivated district of Dunleary with- 

* Personal BeooUeotions of Lord Clonourry, 1849, p. 68. 
t "Neptune, the elegant seat of Lord Clonmel."' — SewarcPi 
Topographia Uibemia, Dub. 1796. 

THE IU?0BMERS OF -gft. 8? 

out, only served to make the contrast more striking. 
But alas 1 this exquisite oasis the vindictive pro- 
prietor of the Post resolved to lay waste. As an 
important preliminary step he purchased from Lady 
Osborne a large tract of ground immediately adjoin- 
ing Lord Olonmel's villa, and forthwith dubbed it 
Fiat Hall.* Magee speedily announced, but with 
some mental reservation, that in honour of the birth- 
day of the Prince of Wales he would give, at Dunleary, 
a grand Bra Pleamra, -to which he solicited the 
company of all his friends, private and political, known 
and unknown, washed and unwashed. Various field 
sports, with plenty of Silvester Oostigan's whisky, 
were promised as an inducement. " At one o'clock," 
to quote the original advertisement, "the ball will 
be kicked on Fiat Hill. Dinner on the tented field 
at three o'clock. Table d'h6te for ladies and gentle- 
men. Cudgel-playing at five, with cool umpires to 
prevent iU temper and preserve good humour." f 

The late Lord Oloncurry's robust memory has fur- 
nished us with the following graphic sketch of the 
singular scene which took place upon this occasion. 
" I recollect attendii^," writes his lordship, " and the 
f §te certainly was a strange one. Several thousand 
people, including the entire disposable mob of Dublin 
of both sexes, assembled as the guests at an early 
hour, and proceeded to enjoy themselves in tents and 
booths erected for the occasion. A variety of sports 
was arranged for their amusement, such as climbing 
poles for prizes, running races in sacks, grinning 
through horse-collars, and so forth, until at length, 
when the crowd had attained its maximum density 
towards the afternoon, the grand scene of the day was 
produced. A number of active pigs, with their tails 
shaved and soaped, were let loose, and it was an- 
nounced that each pig was to become the property of 

* Dublin, Evening Post, No. 1798. + Ihid. 


any one who could catch and hold it by the slippery 
member. A scene impossible to describe immediately 
took place : the pigs, frightened and hemmed in by 
the crowd in all other directions, rushed through the 
hedge which then separated the grounds of .Temple 
Hill from the open fields ; forthwith aU their pursuers 
followed in a body, and, continuing their chase over 
the shrubberies and parterres, soon revenged John 
Magee upon the noble owner." 

Another pen, more powerful but not more accurate 
than Lord Oloncurry's, tells us that " Lord Clonmel 
retreated like a harpooned leviathan — the barb was 
in his back, and Magee held the cordage. He made 
the life of his enemy a burden to him. Wherever 
he went, he was lampooned by a ballad-singer, or 
laughed at by the populace. Nor was Magee's arsenal 
composed exclusively of paper ammunition. He rented 
a field bordering his lordship's highly-improved and 
decorated demesne. He advertised, month after month, 
that on such a day he would exhibit in this field a 
grand Olympic pig hunt; that the people, out of 
gratitude for their patronage of his newspaper, should 
be gratuitous spectators of this revived classical amuse- 
ment ; and that he was determined to make so amazing 
a provision of whisky and porter, that if any man went 
home thirsty, it should be his own fault. The plan 
completely succeeded. Hundreds and thousands as- 
sembled ; every man did justice to his entertainer's 
hospitality ; and his lordship's magnificent demesne, 
uprooted and desolate, next day exhibited nothing 
but the ruins of the Olympic pig hunt." * So far Mr 
Phillips, t The Court of King's Bench had not yet 
opened for term, and Lord Clonmel was tranquilly 

* Cuiran and his Contemporaries, by Charles Phillips, p. 37. 

t Sir Jonah Barrington describes the scene to much the same 
effect, with this addition, that Magee introduced "asses dressed up 
with wigs and scarlet robes, and dancing dogs in gowns and wigs ac 


rasticating at Temple Hill. Pallid with consteiv 
nation, he rang an alarm-bell, and ordered his post- 
chaise, with four of the fleetest horses in his stable, 
to the door. The chief-justice bounded into the cha- 
riot with an energy aknost incompatible with his 
years ; the postilions plied their whips ; the chaise 
rattled amid clouds of dust down Fiat Hill ; the mob, 
with deafening yells, followed close behind. Lord 
Clomnel, almost speechless with terror, repaired to 
the castle, sought the viceroy, swore " by tJie Eter- 
nal " * that aU the country south of Dublin was in a 
state of insurrection ; implored his Excellency to sum- 
mon the Privy Council, and to apply at once for ex- 
traordinary powers, including the suspension of the 
Habeas Corpus Act. f 

The appeal of the chief-justice prevailed ; and on 
September 3, 1789, we find Magee dragged from his 
home by a strong body of the weak and inefficient 
police of Dublin and consigned to Newgate. J He was 
previously, however, brought before Sir Samuel Brad- 
street, Kecorder of Dublin, on the charge of having 
announced that " there would be thirty thousand men 
at Dunleary." The judge required personal bail to 
the amount of £5000, and two sureties in £2500 each, 
for five years,§ a demand not so easy for a printer in a 
moment to meet. Such mandates as these, amount- 
ing in some instances to perpetual imprisonment, soon 
brought but too fatally the administration of justice 
into contempt. 

No unnecessary harshness seems to have been shown 
to Magee during his incarceration. Unlike the case 
of Lord Cloncurry, he was permiti,ed the use of pen, 
ink, and paper — ^a concession as acceptable to him as 
it was creditable to the Grovernment. He constantly 

* A favourite exclamation of Tiord (Sonmera. Vide Rowan's 
Autobiography, p. 208. 
+ Reminisoenoe oommunioated by the late Rev. Dr O'Hanlon. 
t Dublin Evening Post, No. 1800. § Ibid., No. 18i*, 


wrote letters for the Post signed witli his name, and 
bearing the somewhat inflammatory date of " New» 
gate, 22d October, fiftieth day of my confinement,"— 
varied, of course, according as time progressed ; and 
he was not diffident in adversely criticising the policy 
of the viceroy, as well as some leading members of 
the Privy Oomicil, including Lord Olonmel. " The 
man who vilifies established authority," writes John- 
son of Junius, " is sure to find an audience." Magee 
was no exception to the rule. He became intensely 
popular; and the galleries of Crow Street theatre 
used nightly to resound with " A cheer for Magee, the 
man for Ireland ! " and " A groan for the Sham ! " * 

Magee's letters made frequent reference to the suf- 
ferings to which the Government had subjected him. 
Thus, in No. 1789, he tells us, " I have been four 
times fiated, and dragged through the streets like a 
felon — three times into dungeons ! " But having, on 
October 29, received a notification from Government 
declaratory of its willingness to accept the sum of 
£4000 as bail " to keep the peace for five years to- 
wards Lord Olonmel," Magee bade adieu to prison, 
and, accompanied by Hamilton Rowan, attended the 
court and gave the required surety. " Mr Magee, 
on being discharged, walked to his own house in Col- 
lege Green, greeted by the loud congratulations of 
the people." f 

Poor Magee's spell of liberty seems to have been of 
lamentably short duration, if the evidence of his own 
organ can be accepted as conclusive. The sweets of 
liberty were once more exchanged for the bitters of 
"durance vile." In the Dublin Evening Post of 
November 12, 1789, we read — " Magee was brought 
up from the Lock-up House, where he had been con- 
fined since Tuesday last upon fiats granted by Lord 
Olonmel, at the suit of Messrs Higgins, Daly, Bren- 

* Trial of Magee for Libel on E. Daly, p. 80. 
+ Dublin Evening Pott, No. 1833. 

THE INPOltMERS OK '96. 91 

nan, and Miss , to the amount of £7800. Mr 

Magee moved for a new trial in the matter of the 
alleged libel against Higgins. But the chief-justice 
refused the motion, and infonned the sheriff that 
Magee was now a convict, and should be conducted 
to Newgate forthwith." * The struggle was charac- 
terised as one of might against right. In October 
1789, the attorney-general is said to have admitted 
in open court that the prosecution of Magee was " a 
Government business." t 

Irresistible arguments having been, onNov. 19,hearfl 
in arrest of judgment on Magee, the chief-justice ad- 
journed the sentence to next term, and admitted him 
to bail on the comparatively moderate recognisance 
of £500. Magee was therefore discharged; but it 
would almost seem as if the law authorities, with 
Lord Clonmel at their head, had been only playing 
off some malign practical joke upon him, for we read 
that no sooner had Magee "reached High Street 
after receiving his discharge, than he was taken into 
custody by the sheriffs on different fiats amounting to 
£7800 ! "t 

The very name of fiats had now become almost as 
terrible as lettres de cacJiet ; but in the Irish Parlia- 
ment of 1790 they received their death-blow, and 
Lord Clonmel himseK may be said to have perished 
in their debris. 

Of this unconstitutional agent Magee remarked : — 
" If the amount of the smn for which baU must be 
found is to be measured and ascertained only by the 
conscience of the affidavit-man, then indeed any pro- 
fligate character may lodge in Newgate the Duke of 
Leinster or Mr OonoUy, for sums which even they 
would not find it possible to procure bail." On 
January 28, 1790, Magee was once more committed 
to prison. 

* Dublin Evening Pott, No. 1839. t IbU., No. 1834. 

tlUd., No. 1844. 


The inequitable practice of the court allowing the 
plaintiff three terms before requiring him to try his 
action, afforded Higgins and Daly the power of keep- 
ing their opponent in prison for nineteen months in 
default of bail. Magee, meanwhile, behaved with 
much eccentricity. Having sent his compliments to 
Lord Olonmel, with an assurance that his health was 
much improved since " he had got his heels out of 
Newgate," the chief-justice ordered an inquiry to be 
immediately instituted as to the means by which he 
had effected his escape ; but it was found that he 
merely alluded to the custom he had adopted of sit- 
ting with his feet cased in scarlet slippers protruded 
through the window of his cell. He also contrived 
to injure Lord Clonmel severely by bribing persons 
to turn a large body of scalding water upon the judge 
while in a public bath.* The chief-justice was a 
bad subject for a trick of this sort. " My size is so 
much increased," he writes in his private diary, " that 
I have broken two carriage springs." f Magee ac- 
cused Daly of having killed a billiard-marker, 
avowed his intention of having him hanged for the 
murder ; and, from what he styled his " Fiat Dim- 
geon," sent the patentee's wife a picture of Higgins, 
begging she would oblige him by affixing in her 
cabinet " the portrait of the most infernal viUain 
yet unhanged, except the murderer of the honest 
marker." f 

Owing largely to the unflagging denunciations of 
Magee, the Police Board, in September 1789, at- 
tempted some vigorous reform, and at last noctur- 
nal gambling-houses were menaced with extinction. 
Magee, even in the gloom of his dungeon, exulted 
over the threatened downfall. The " Gambler's 
Soliloquy" went on to say: — 

* Gilbert's History of Dublin, vol. iii., p. 31. 
t Unpublished Diary of Lord Clonmel. 
t Gilbert, vol. iii., p. 31. 


" Yes * this is a fatal, dreadful revolution I 
A change repugnant to the dear delighta 
Of night-enveloped guilt, of midnight fraud, 
And rapine long secure ; of dexterous art 
To plunge untUnking innocence in woe, 
And riot in the spoils of beggar'd youth I 
Sad revolution t Hence come lethargy. 
Come inactivity, and worse than all, 
Come simple honesty I The dice no more 
Shall sound their melody, nor perj'ry's list 
Swell at the nod of dark collusive practice 
Gaols lie unpeopled, and rest gibbets bare. 
And Newgate's front board take a holiday I 
Crane Lane, thou spot to Pandemonium dear. 
Where many a swarthy son of Chrisal's race 
My galligaskin lined," &c. * 

Alderman Oaxleton made four seizures. " And 
yet," said the Post, " as fast as their implements are 
seized, their tables demolished, and their gangs dis- 
persed, the very next night new arrangements and 
new operations are on foot. Who but the protected 
proprietor of this infamous den — who but a ruffian 
who can preserve his plunder in security, and set law 
and gospel at defiance, would dare at such audacious 
perseverance ?"t 

One of the banquets given about this time by the 
Sham Squire was specially immortalised by the popu- 
lar poet Ned Lysaght, but we have not been able to find 
a printed copy. The song was, however, traditionally 
preserved by the late Chief-Justice Doherty, Chief- 
Justice Bushe, and Sir Philip Crampton, all of whom 
were wont to swell its merry chorus. The lines be- 
gan by describing " the Sham's feast in Stephen's 
Green," and the guests who were present, — 

" Including, as we've all heard tell, 
Carhampton, Flood, and Lord Clonmel ; 
With Haly-gaily, Langford Eowley, 
Dash-at-him — Piat-him — 
Galloping dreary Dunn. " 

The chief merit of the lines lay in preserving 
almost verbatim the original gibberish chorus of the 

* DuHin Evening Post, No. 1813. + 7Ud., No. 1827. 


well-known song in O'Keefe's opera, " The Castle of 
Andalusia." " Haly-gaily" alludes to Hely Hutchinson, 
provost of Trinity College, Dublin, of whose ambitious 
disposition Lord Townshend remarked, " that if his 
Majesty gave him the whole kingdoms of England 
and Ireland, he would beg the Isle of Man for a 
cabbage garden." Having obtained a peerage for 
his wife, he became ancestor of the Lords Donough- 
more. The Right Hon. Langford Eowley, M.P. for 
Meath, was an equally influential personage. " Dash- 
at-him — fiat-him," alludes to Daly, who killed the 
marker by a dash of a billiard ball, and imprisoned 
Magee on ajiat. " Galloping dreary Dunn," refers, 
we believe, to George Dunn, the governor of Kilmain- 
ham gaol. 

Meanwhile Mr Higgins's ready pen continued to 
rage with fmy against all whose views did not ex- 
actly chime with those held by his employers. A 
contemporary journal says : — " Squire Higgins, whose 
protected system of virulent and unremitting slander 
crows in triumph over the community, does not 
scruple to avow his indifference to anything which 
prosecution can do, guarded as he is by the intimate 
friendship and implicit confidence of the Bench. He 
openly avows his disregard of Mr Grattan's prosecu- 
tion for a libel now pending against him, and says 
that he shall be supported by the Castle."* Mr 
Higgins having libelled a respectable official in the 
revenue, legal proceedings were instituted; but one 
of the Government lawyers refused, in December 
1788, to move, although fee'd in the cause. 

Poor Magee's cup of bitterness was at last filled to 
the brim, by a proceeding which is best described in 
his own letter to Lord Chancellor Clare. There is a 
singular mixture of tragedy and farce in the ener- 
getic efforts which were now openly made to extin- . 
guish liim : — 

* VuhUn Evening/ Post, No. 1825. 


Newoatb, Oct. 1. 

" My Lord, — I have now been confined in this 
prison of the felon, housebreaker, and murderer, 
twenty-nine days — twenty-one of which time mostly 
to my bed. Judge, on my rising yesterday, to be 
served with a notice to appear to-morrow at the 
House of Lords, on a charge of lunacy, and that by 
some interested persons, who, without even the sha- 
dow of relationship, have secured my property, and 
that to a very great amount, and refused by these 
very people even ten guineas to procure common 
necessaries in a prison. Bail -I cannot produce ; my 
character as a trader is blasted; my property as a 
citizen embezzled ; my intellects as a man suspected 
by a false and slanderous charge of insanity ; every 
engine employed by a designing, needy, and despe- 
rate junto, for the absolute deprivation of my pro- 
perty ; total destruction of all that those who respect 
themselves prize more even than life. My Lord, I 
claim the interposition of your authority as the first 
in law power — I supplicate your humanity as a man, 
a parent, a husband, that I may be permitted to con- 
front my accusers at the House of Lords on to-mor- 

To justify the charge of lunacy against John 
Magee, it was alleged, among other pretexts, that he 
had established boat-races and foot-ball matches at 
Dunleary, and presided over them " in a round hat 
and feathers." * 

We cull a few passages from the newspaper re- 
port: — 

* There is an anecdote of Magee traditionally preserred in the 
office of the Evening Post, illustrative of his unawed demeanour in 
the presence of Lord Clonmel, by whose domineering manner even 
the Bar were often overborne. Magee stood up in court, and ad- 
dressed a few observations to the Bench in justification of his hosti- 
lity to Francis Higgins. But having styled him the " Sham Squire," 
Lord Clonmel interrupted Magee, declaring that he would allow no 
nicknames to be used in that court. " Very well, John Scott," ro- 
plied the editor ol the Pott, reauiaing hi« scat 


" The Chancellor—' Mr Magee, have you anything to say? 

" ' As to what, my lord?' 

"'You have heard the matters with which you are 
charged. I am called upon to issue a commission to try 
whether you are insane or not. If you are found insane, 
I am then to appoint a guardian of your person and a 
guardian of your property, and you wiU become a ward 
of the Court of Chancery. Have you an attorney V 

" ' No, my lord. Some time ago I sent for Mr Kenny 
as my solicitor. He came to me, and found me sick in bed. 
I opened my case to him, and he promised to call upon 
me next day ; but the first intimation I had of Mr Kenny 
afterwards was, that he was preparing briefs against me for 
this prosecution. Does your lordship choose that I should 
sail witnesses ? My own physician is here.' 

" ' Has he made an afiSdavit V 

" ' He has, my lord.' 

" The chancellor declared that there was not the shadow 
of ground for issuing a commission. Supposing all the 
charges true, they only amounted to acts of extravagance 
and indiscretion. If he was to grant a commission of 
lunacy against every man who did an extravagant, an un- 
wise, or even a bad thing, he was afraid he should have a 
^eat many wards. He had observed Mr Magee during the 
whole time he had been in court, and he saw nothing insane 
about him. He must therefore refuse the application." 

Magee's triumph began to davra from this day. In 
the Journals of the Irish House of Commons (vol. xiii., 
pp. 179 80) we find it " ordered that the proper officer 
do lay before the House an attested copy of the affidavit 
filed in the Queen's Bench, on which the chief-justice 
ordered that a writ should issue, at the suit of Francis 
Higgins and others, against John Magee for £7800." 
On March 3, 1790, the entire case was brought 
before Parliament by George Ponsonby, afterwards 
Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He showed that the 
practice of issuing fiats under such circumstances 
was unconstitutional, and a direct violation of the Bill 
of Eights ; and he reminded the Hou^e, that whil? 

■MtE INFORME&S OF '98. 9? 

Warren Hastings, who was accused of plundering 
India, murdering its inhabitants, and rendering the 
Government corrupt and odious, was qnly held to 
£10,000 hail, an Irish printer, on a mere individual 
affirmation, was held to bail for £7800. Mr Pon- 
sonby ridiculed the idea of Higgins swearing that 
he " had been injured in his unspotted, unblemished 
reputation" by the lampoons of John Magee. 

George Ponsonby was ably supported by Arthur 
Browne :* — " TDl of very late years the evil was mo- 
derate ; but since a certain learned judge came upon 
the bench it has grown to an enormous height. Sir, 
under the auspices of that judge these doctrines have 
been advanced, that any man may at his pleasure, 
with perfect impunity, deprive any other of his liberty 
by an affidavit swearing that he believes he has suf- 
fered damage, without showing when or how — that 
his fancy, or his perjury, is to be the guide of the 
judge's discretion, and the bail is to be accommodated 
to the ideal wrongs, to the fancied injuries, to the 
angiy passions, or the wanton prevarication of a 
wicked or enraged prosecutor. What is the con- 
sequence? No man, however free from debt or 
unconscious of crime, shall walk in security in the 
public streets. He is liable to arrest for any amount; 
and if he seeks to pimish the accuser he finds no spot 
on which to lay lus hand. How can he indict the 
accuser for perjury ? He only swore a general affir 
mative that he had been damaged. Who can provt 
a general negative that he had not ? He only swore 
to the belief of damage. Who can arraign his 
capricious fancy, or convict it of perjury ?_ If he had 
sworn to a particular instance — ^that his arm had 
been broken, that he had lost the setting of a house 

* For a notice of Arthur Browne, member for the University ol 
Dublin, see Review of the Irish House of Commons, by Falkland 
—•'.«., John Robert Scott, D.D,, p. 30 ; vide also Sketches of Irish 
Political Characters, p. 211. 


or the customers of his shop — I might pro\e the 
falsehood of the assertion by evidence. But upon a 
general charge nothing remains but submission and 
a prison. 

" This power has been particularly directed against 
printers. Whoever presumed to print or publish with- 
out the leave or not under the direction of Francis 
Higgins, was in great danger of a fiat : numbers of 
printers have been run down by fiats whom the public 
never heard of. John Magee was more sturdy, and 
therefore his sufferings made more noise. Four fiats 
were issued against him in June 1789, to the amount 
of £7800 ; he was kept in prison from June to the 
end of November, before the question whether this 
fcail should be reduced was decided. Mr Higgins 
nad now, by the practice of the courts, (which gives 
a plaintiff three terms before he need try his action,) 
power to keep Magee in prison till November next, 
so that he may lie in prison nineteen months for want 
of bail before the action be tried ; perhaps afterwards 
have a verdict in his favour, or oidy 8d. damages be 
given against him. Each of the bail must swear - 
liimseK worth twice the sum for which he was security 
i.e., £30,000, and more in this case. What gentle- 
man could find such bail ? It amounted to perpetual 
imprisonment. We may talk of independence, but 
liberty is no more — the security of our boasted eman- 
cipation is a name, for we have nothing to secure. 

" See what an instrument this doctrine might be 
in the hands of private malice or public oppression. 
Suppose a man willing to wreak his vengeance upon 
his foe, and for that purpose recommending himself 
to the favour of the Bench. Suppose a bad man in 
possession of the ear of a judge, his old friend and 
companion, perhaps instilling his poison into it, and 
willing to make it the conduit through which to 
wreak his vengeance on his foe ; suppose him to re- 
commend himseK by every willing and base act to a 


wicked judge — and such may be conceived. Sup- 
pose him the minion of that judge, requiring a littU 
mutual favour fm' his multiplied services, and asking 
the debasement of the Bench as the price of former 

aid in the elevation of that judge Suppose 

the slanderous assassin, seeking for a fiat against a far 
less criminal than himself, and fixing the sum which 
he thinks sufficient to throw his neighbour into eter- 
nal bondage ; is it not possible that his friendly judge 
may listen to his argument in memory of old festivity, 
and grant him a fiat, even to his heart's content, 
although by so doing, your courts of law, instead of 
being the sacred fountains of justice, should become 
the channels of malevolence ? If the wretched vic- 
tims of this assumed power do not find redress here, 
they know not where to fly for refuge ; on this House 
depends the fate of all who are or may be subject to 
this tyranny. If they do not find redress here, they 
must be lost ; but they will be lost in the wreck of 
the national character. What an instrument might 
such a power be in the hands of a bad government ! 
what an instrument may it be against the liberty of 
the press 1 How easily may any printer who pre- 
sumes to open his mouth against the administration be 
run down by it ! We have called upon the adminis- 
tration to correct this evil, and have met with a re- 
fusal. It absurdly espouses a subject with which it 
has no concern, and which it cannot defend 1 " 

" The proposed vote of censure on the chief-justice 
was rejected through the Government influence in 
the House of Commons, which referred the fiats and 
affidavits in the case to a grand committee of the 
courts of justice, before which Mr Ponsonby discussed 
the question at great length, and proposed a resolu- 
tion, that the issuing of writs by the order of a judge, 
to hold defendants to bail in large sums of money 
in actions of slander, where no actual and specific 
damage is swnrn to in the affidavits upon which such 


writs were Issued, was, as the same had been prao- 
tised of late, illegal, and subversive of the liberty of the 
subject." " This motion," records Mr Gilbert, " was 
got rid of by the Attorney-General moving that the 
chairman of the committee should leave the chair, 
which was carried on a division. The result of these 
proceedings tended to increase the unpopularity of 
the administration of the time, as the public had 
taken up with much interest the case of Magee, who 
liad been sanguine of obtaining relief from Parlia- 
ment." * 

Nevertheless, the practice of issuing fiats was, as 
we are assured by Charles Phillips, soon after re- 
stricted to a defined and definite sum. Intense was 
the humiliation of Lord Clonmel ; his heart withered 
from that day. Magee exposed his errors, denied 
his merits, magnified his mistakes, ridiculed his pre- 
tensions, and continually edging, without overstep- 
ping the boundary of libel, poured upon the chief, 
from the battery of the press, a perpetual broadside 
of sarcasm and invective. 

" Save us from our friends ; we know our enemies," 
is an old and trite adage. Groaning beneath the 
weight of Magee's hostility, Lord Clonmel pursued 
the uneven tenor of his way ; but when at le^th the 
startling fact became evident that even the fidelity of 
Higgins had begun to fail, the chief felt inclined to 
ejaculate, Et tu, Brute ! Mr Curran, in his " Bar 
Sketches," relates on the authority of Bushe a story 
which shows that in 1794 Lord Clonmel complained 
of having been lampooned by the FreemarCs Journal, 
So much for the instability of human friendship ! 

The chief-justice became at last singularly sensi- 
tive to criticism. Kowan's " Autobiography " records 
a strange dialo^e between the chief and a bookseller 
named Byrne, mto whose shop he swaggered on see- 
ing Rowan's trial advertised. One sentence wiU con- 

' Gilbert's History of Dublin, vol, iiL, p. 83. 


vej an idea of the colloquy, as well as of the times in 
which such language could be hazarded by a judge. 
" Take care, sir, what you do ; I give you this cau- 
tion ; for if there are any reflections on the judges of 

the land, by the eternal Q- I will lay you by the 


Lord Clomnel's health and spirits gradually broke 
down, and accounts of his death were daily circulated. 
On one of these occasions, when he was really very 
ill, a friend said to Curran, " Well, they say Olonmel 
is going to die at last. Do you believe it ?" "I be- 
lieve," said Curran, " he is scoundrel enough to live 
or die, just as it suits his otvn convenience ! Shortly 
before the death of Lord Clonmel, Mr Lawless, after- 
wards Lord Cloncurry, had an interview with him, 
when the chief exclaimed, "My dear Val, I have 
been a fortunate man through life ; I am a chief-jus- 
tice and an earl ; but were I to begin the world again, 
I would rather be a chimney-sweeper, than connected 
with the L-ish Government."* 

The " Diary of John Scott, Lord Clonmel," not 
hitherto consulted by those who have treated of that 
remarkable man, has been privately printed by his 
family. It shows, while recording many weaknesnes, 
that he was a person of rare shrewdness and political 
foresight. A few excerpts from this generally-inac- 
cessible volume will interest the reader : — 

The result of Lord Clonmel's experience of the 
ambitious and designing men with whom he had 
cultivated intimacies was not satisfactory. 

Filitics. — "Never, if you can, connect yourself with 
a very ambitious man : his friendship, or rather con- 
nexion, is as ruinous as his hatred : he has no real 
friendship ; and his pride makes him hate those to 
whom he is obliged ; and his intimacy leads him to 
dupe every creature, his Creator if he could. Vide the 
Life of Frederick the Great of Prussia, Provost Hut- 

* Personal BficoUfifitiona of J^ord Cloncurry, p. 46. 


chinson, the Marquis of Buckingliam ; John Foster, 
spealcer ; Agar, Archbishop of Cashel," &c. (P. 

" Lord ! what plagues have false friends proved to 
me. The idea oi friendship, and the very word, should 
be expunged from the heart and mind of a politician. 
Look at Lord Pery." (P. 211.) 

" Last month I became a viscount ; and from 
ft'ant of circumspection in trying a cause against a 
printer, (Magee,) I have been grossly abused for 
several months. I have endeavoured to make that 
abuse useful towards my earldom." . . . (Sept. 20, 
1789, 348.) 

On October 19, 1789, he says, that unless he adopts 
the discipline of Pery and others, " I am actually dis- 
graced, despised, and undone as a public man. Let 
me begin to be diligent to-day. No other learning 
but law and parliamentary reading can be useful to 
me : let these be my study." (P. 349.) 

On January 21, 1790, he writes : — " Let me, there- 
fore, from this moment, adopt a war discipline, and 
resolve seriously to set about learning my profession, 
ind actiTigmj Ytaxtsuperlativelythioughuxit.' (P. 331.) 

Among his good resolutions recorded on the 10th 
of February were, " To establish a complete reform 
from snuff, sleep, swearing, sloth, gross eating, m;ilt 
liquor, and indolence." 

The Diary finds hiin constantly engaged in a battle 
with his own weaknesses, which unhappily in the end 
generally win the victory. At p. 362, towards the 
close of the book, we read : — " By neglect of yourself 
you are now a helpless, ignorant, unpopular, accused 
indi\'idual; forsaken by Government, persecuted by 
Parliament, hated by the Bar, unaided by the Bench 
betrayed and deserted by your oldest friends. Pie- 
form, and all will be well. Guard against treachery 
iu others and passions in yourself.' At p. 441, we 
Ipfirii : — " My three puisne judges are actually con;- 


bined against me ; and that ungrateful monster, Lord 
Cai'leton, has made a foolish quarrel with me." 

Few men possessed a more accurate perception of 
what was right to be done; and hia bcau-ddefil of a 
[lerfect chief-justice is a model of judicial excellence 
which a Mansfield or a Busho might read with profit; 
but poor Lord Clonmel signally failed to realise it. 
Day after day, as wo have said, finds this most extra- 
ordinary man toiling in vain to correct his besetting 
weaknesses. Sir Jonah Barrington's description of 
Lord Clonmel perpetually telling and acting -extrava- 
gantly comic stories is corroborated by the chief's own 
Diary. " I have made," he writes, " many enemies 
by the treachery of men and women who have taken 
advantage of my levity* and unguardcdnoss in mi- 
micry, and saying sharp things of and to others; and 
have injured myself by idleness, eating, drinking, and 
sleeping too much. From this day, then, let me 
assume a stately, grave, dignified deportment and 
demeanour. No buffoonery, no mimicry, no ridi- 
cule." This is one of the closing entries in the verj 
remarkable Diary of John Scott, Lord Chiefr Justice 
Clonmel. As a constitutional judge he holds no place. 
In opposition to the highest legal authorities of Eng- 
land, he held that one witness was quite sufficient to 
convict in case of treason. 

Among the many searchingly criticiil notices of 
Lord Clonmel, contributed by G-rattan, Barrington, 
Eowan, Cloncurry, Cox, Mugeo, and others, no allu- 
sion has been made to the circumst3.nccs in which liia 
wealth mainly originated. We are informed by a 
very respectable solicitor, Mr II — -, that, in looking 
over one of Lord Clonmcl's rentals, ho was struck by 
the following note, written by his lordship's agent, in 
reference to the property Boolnadiiff :— " Lord Cloiir 

* It cannot be said of Lord Cloumcl ;is of Jorry Keller, iULlrisb 
barrister, tbat some men Uave rispu by their gravity wbilo Ue Sivulr, 
by hia levitv, 


mel, when Mi- Scott, held this in trust for a Koman 
Catholic, who, owing to the operation of the Popery 
Idws, was incapacitated from keeping it in his own 
hands. When reminded of the trust, Mr Scott refused 
to acknowledge it, and thus the property fell into the 
Clonmel family." * 

But we must not lose sight of the Sham Squire. 
We now find him accused of " purloining a document 
from the office of the King's Bench, and committing 
erasures and alterations thereon, for the purpose of 
securing the conviction of a defendant, and depriving 
him of the benefit of a fair plea against judgment." 
" This," adds the Post, " is of a piece with the noto- 
rious theft committed on the grand jury bag in the 
town-clerk's office, a few wee& since, of the bills 
against the markers and other vagabonds of the Crane 
Lane gambling-house. If such felonious audacities 
are suffered to escape with impunity, the dignity, the 
law, the equity of the Bench, and the lives and pro- 

i)erties of the honest part of the community are no 
onger safe against the daring acts of cunning and 
villainy." f Mr Higgins denied the charge ; but the 

• In Walker's Bibermam, Magazine for July 1797, wo read, p. 
97: — "Edward B;me of MuIUnahack, Esq., to Miss Boe, step- 
daughter to the Earl of Clonmel, and niece to Lord Viscount Llan- 
dafT." Hereby hangs a tale. Miss Roe was understood to have, a 
large fortune, and when Kr Byrne applied to Lord Clonmel for it, 
his lordship shuffled, saying, " Miss Boe is a lapsed Papist, and I 
avail myself of the laws which I administer to withhold the money." 
Mr Byrne filed a bill, iq which he recited the evasive reply of Lord 
Clonmel. The chief-justice never answered the bill, and treated 
Mr Byrne's remonstrances with contempt. These facts transpire 

in the legal documents held by Mr H . Too often the treachery 

manifested by the rich in positions of trust, at the calamitous period 
in question, contrasted curiously with the tried fidelity observed by 
some needy persons in a similar capacity. Moore, in his Memoirs of 
Captain Bock, mentions the case of a poor Protestant barber, who, 
though his own property did not exceed a few pnunds in value, ac- 
tually held in fee the estates of most of the Catholic gentry of the 
county. He adds, that this estimable man was qever known to 
betray his trust. 

+ ihjbUn Evenina Pott, No. 1843. 


subject, notwithstanding, was brought before Parlia- 
ment on March 5, 1790, when Arthur Browne stated, 
that in " the suit, Higgins against Magee, it had ap- 
peared to the perfect conviction of every man in court 
that two erasures and certain alterations had been 
made in the record ; that a circumstance so momen- 
tous had astonished and alarmed all present, the court 
especially, who had promised to make a solemn in- 
vestigation of it, and ' probe it to the bottom.' He 
had since heard from some friends, that it would not 
be proper to commence an inquiry until the suit, in 
which this record was involved, should be finally 
determined: no such objection had been offered by 
the court at the time of discovering the forgery; nay, 
the court, on the instant, had certainly commenced 
an inquiry, though he never heard they had carried 
it further. 

" This dark and wicked transaction did, at the time 
of its being discovered, greatly alarm the Bar; and in 
consequence a numerous and most respectable meet- 
ing of barristers took place, at which meeting he at- 
tended, and there did promise, that if the Court of 
King's Bench did not foUow up the inquiry with 
effect, he would bring it before Parliament : it cer- 
tainly was the business of the Court of King's Bench 
to have taken it up ; but they not having done so 
he was resolved to keep his promise, and never loss 
sight of it till Parliament should decide upon it. 

" The inquiry was, whether the public records of 
jhe highest court of crinodnal judicature, by which 
the life and property of any man in the realm might 
be affected, were kept with that sacred care that no 
man could have access to alter or erase them ? And 
whether the officers of that court were so honest and 
so pure that they would not allow of any corrupt 

* Iriab Pari Debates, vol. x., p. 389. 



Uairbrtiadth Escapes of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. — Testimony of 
Lords Holland and Byron. — A Dark Picture of Oppression. — 
Moira House. — ^Presence of Mind. — Eevolting Treachery. — 
Arrest of Lord Edward. — Majors Sirr and Swan. — Death of 
Captain Eyan. — Attempted Rescue. — Edward Eattigan. — 
General Lawless. — Lady Louisa Conolly. — Obduracy of Lord 
Camden. — Death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. 

Some critics have been good enougli to say that oar 
narrative possesses the interest of an effective drama. 
At this stage of its progress we propose to let the 
curtain drop for an interval, during which eight years 
ive supposed to have elapsed. 

Once more it rises, disclosing the dark and stormy 
period of 1798. The scene is Leixlip Bridge at th« 
dawn of morning, with a view of the Salmon Leap. 
Nicholas Dempsey, a yeoman sentinel, is seen, witl 
musket shouldered, pacing to and fro. A young man 
dressed as a peasant with frieze coat and cordm-oy 
knee-breeches, approaches the bridge diiving before 
him half a dozen sheep. Accosting the sentinel, he 
asks if there is any available night park at hand 
where he could put his tired sheep to rest. The 
yeoman scans his face narrowly, and to the surprise, 
and probably confusion of the drover replies : — " No, 
my lord, there is no pasturage in this neighbourhood." 
No other words pass ; the sentinel resumes his beat, 
and the drover proceeds on his way.* 

' We are indebted for this hitherto unpublished anecdote to 
Mr Ennis of Kimmage, the grand-nephew of Nicholas Dempsey, 
whose cartridge-box and sash are stUl preserved at Kimmage House 
as a memento of the man and of the incident. For a notice of the 
Veomanry, see Appendi*. 


The person tiius addressed by the yeoman was Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald, of whom a cabinet minister, Lord 
Holland, deliberately writes : — 

" More than twenty years have now passed away 
Many of my political opinions are softened — my pre- 
dilections for some men weakened, my prejudices 
against others removed ; but my approbation of Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald's actions remains unaltered and 
unshaken. His country was bleeding under one of 
the hardest tyrannies that our times have witnessed."* 

• Memoirs of the Whig Party. Lord Holland adds : — " The 
premature and iU-ooucerted insurrections which followed in the 
Catholic districts were quelled, rather in consequence of want of 
concert and skill in the insurgents, than of any good conduct or 
discipline of the king's troops, whom Sir Ralph Abercrombie de- 
scribed very honestly, as formidablt to no one hut their friends. That 
experienced and upright commander had been removed from his 
command, even after those just and spirited general orders in which 
the remarkable judgment just quoted was conveyed. His recall 
was hailed as a triumph by the Orange faction. Indeed, surrounded 
as they were with burning cottages, tortured backs, and frequent 
executions, they were yet full of their sneers at what they whimsi- 
cally t-ermed 'the clemency' of the Government, and the weak 

character of their viceroy. Lord Camden The fact is 

incontrovertible, that the people of Ireland were driven to resist- 
ance, which, possibly, they mediated before, by the free quarters 
and excesses of the soldiery, which were such as are not permitted 
in civilised warfare, even in an enemy's country. Trials, if they 
must so be called, were carried on without number, under martial 
law. It often happened, that three officers composed the court, 
and that of the three, two were under age, and the third an officer 
of the yeomanry or militia, who had sworn, in his Orange lodge, 
ettJmal hatred to the people over whom he was thus constituted a 
judge. Floggings, picketings, death, were the usual sentences, and 
these were sometimes commuted into banishment, serving in the 
fleet, or transference to a foreign service. Many were sold at so 
much per head to the Prussians. Other less legal but not more 
horrible outrages were daily committed by the different corps under 
the command of Government. Even in the streets of Dublin, a mai' 
was iluA and robbed of i£30, on the loose recollection of a soldier's 
having seen him in the battle of KilcuUen, and no proceeding was 
instituted to ascertain the murder or prosecute the murderer. Lord 
Wycombe, who was in Dublin, and who was himself shot at Dy a 
sentinel, between Black Bock and that city, wrote to me many do- 
tails of similar outrages which he had ascertained to be true. Dr 
Piekson (Bishop of Down) assured me that he had seen families 


" If Lord Edward had been actuated in political 
life by personal ambition," writes Dr MacNevin, " he 
lad only to cling to his great family connexions and 
parliamentary influence. They unquestionably would 
have advanced his fortunes and gratified his desires. 
The voluntary sacrifices he made, and the magnani- 
mous manner in which he directed himself to the in- 
dependence of Ireland, are incontestable proofs of the 
purity of his soul." 

"What a noble fellow," said Lord Byron, " was 
Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and what a romantic and 
singular history his was ! If it were not too near 
our times, it would make the finest subject in the 
world for an historical novel." 

The insurrection meanwhile, to which Earl Kussell 
refers as one " wickedly provoked, rashly begun, and 
cruelly crushed," * was hastening to maturity. Dub- 
lin and Kildare were ripe for revolt : the mountains 
of Wicklow — the stronghold of Holt — were like 
slumbering volcanoes. A great object was to pro- 
cure, near Dublin, a place of concealment for the 
chivalrous nobleman who had espoused the cause of 
the people ; and a widow lady, named Dillon, who 
resided near Portobello, undertook to give him shelter. 
Before he had been two days in the house, under an 
assumed name, an accident revealed his real one to 
the servant man. In cleaning Lord Edward's boots 
he observed the noble stranger's name and title written 
in full ; and he took occasion to teU his mistress that 
he knew who was the guest up-stairs, but that she 
need not fear, as he would die in his defence. The 
lady, with some anxiety, communicated the circum- 

returning peaceably from mass, assailed without provocation, by 
drunken troops and yeomanry, and the wives and daughters exposed 
to every species o£ indignity, brutality, and outrage, from which 
neither his remonstrances, nor those of other Protestant gentlemen, 
could rescue them. The subsequent indemnity acts deprived of r«- 
dress the victims of this wide-spread cruelty." 
♦ Preface to JJoore's Memoiis, vol. i., p. 18. 


stance to Lord Edward, who expressed a wish to see 
the faithful adherent. " No," replied the servant ; 
" I won't go up, or look at him, for if they should 
arrest me, I can then swear I never saw him or spoke 
to liim." 

Lord Edward Fitzgerald remained for five weeks 
In this retreat, when his friends suggested the ex- 
pediency of removing to the house of a respectable 
feather merchant, named Murphy, who resided in 
Thomas Street, Dublin. Accompanied by William 
Lawless, Lord Edward, wrapped in a countryman's 
great-coat, arrived at Murphys, where he remained 
for several days, during which time, dressed in female 
attire, he visited his wife and children in Denzilld 
Street. He became by degrees more callous to risk, 
and we find him, early in May, riding, attended by 
Neilson only, to reconnoitre the line of advance from 
Kildare to Dublin. While executing this perilous 
task, he was actually stopped by the pa&ol at Palmers- 
town, but having, as Moore alleges, plausibly passed 
for a doctor hurrying to the relief of a sick patient, 
he was suffered, with his companion, to resume his 

In order to foil pursuit, Lord Edward was advisea 
to remain not more than a night or two at any one 
house. Moore's and Murphy's, in Thomas Street, 
and Gannon's, in Com Market, were the houses 
which afforded him shelter. 

The proclamation offering a reward of one thousand 
pounds for such information as should lead to his 
apprehension had now appeared. On Ascension 
Thursday, May 17, 1790, Major Sirr, " received in- 
formation," writes Moore, " that a party of persons, 
supposed to be Lord Edward Fitzgerald's bodyguard, 
would be on their way from Thomas Street to Usher's 
Island that night." The precise object or destination 
of this party, Moore adds, has not been ascertained, 
but that it was supposed Lord Edward was going to 


Moira House* on Usher's Island, the residence ol 
Lord and Lady Moira, with a view to see his wife 
Pamela, who is believed to have been then under their 
Aospitable roof.f Lord Edward's actual destination, 
however, — and we have been at no ordinary pains to 
ascertain it, — was the residence of Mr Francis Magan, 
No. 20 Usher's Island. 

From the representative of the IVioore family, who 
gave Lord Edward ample shelter and protection when 
a thousand pounds lay on his head, we have gathered 
the following valuable traditional details ; and, as will 
be found, they are interwoven with the history of the 
Sham Squire. A carpenter named Tuite was at work 
in one of the apartments of Mr Secretary Cooke's 
office on May 16, 1798. While repairing the floor 
within the recess of a double door, he distinctly heard 
Mr Cooke say, that the house of James Moore, 119 
Thomas Street, should be forthwith searclied for pikes 
and traitors. Tuite, who was under some obligations 
to Moore, with great presence of mind, noiselessly 
wrenched off the hinge of the outer door, and asked 
permission to leave the Castle for ten minutes, in order 
to purchase a new hinge in Kennedy's Lane. Leave 
was given ; but, instead of going to the ironmonger's, 
Tuite ran with immense speed to James Moore in 
Thomas Street, gave the hint, and returned to his 
work. Moore, who was deeply implicated, and had a 
commissariat for five hundred men on the premises, 
fled to the banks of the Boyne, near Drogheda, after 
previously telling his daughter to provide for the 
safety of Lord Edward, who was at that moment up- 
stairs. Miss Moore had a high respect and friendship 

* Now tho Mendicity Institution. 

t It is not quite certain that Lady Edward Fitzgerald was at 
this time at Moira House. The Personal KecoUections of Lord 
Clonourry (2d edition, p. 130) rather favour an opposite conclusion, 
by stating that "at the time of Lord Kdward's arrest, his wife 
Pamela had taken refuge with my sisters, and was at the time in 
my fatter 's house in Merrion Street" — namely, Moniington House, 


for Mr Francis Magan and his sister, who resided at 
20 Usher's Island. He was a Eoman Catholic bar- 
rister, and had been a member of the Society of United 
Irishmen, though from prudential motives he had 
shortly before relinquished his formal connexion with 
them, but it was understood that his sympathies 
were stiU with the society. Miss Moore obtained an 
interview with Mr Magan, and unbosomed her anxiety 
to him. Mr Magan, at no time an impassionable or 
impulsive person, seemed moved : he offered his house 
as a refuge for Lord Edward. The proposal was ac- 
cepted with gratitude, and it was thereupon arranged 
that Lord Edward, accompanied by Mrs and Miss 
Moore, Gallaher, and Palmer, should proceed that 
evening from Moore's in Thomas Street, to Magan's 
on Usher's Island. It was further astutely suggested 
by Mr Magan, that as so large a party knocking at 
his hall door might attract suspicion, he would leave 
ajar his stable door in Island Street, which lay im- 
mediately at the rear, and thus open access through 
the garden to his house. Lord Edward, while under 
Moore's roof, passed as the French tutor of Miss 
Moore, who had been educated at Tours, and they 
never spoke unless in French. On the pretext of 
being about to take a stroll through Galway's Wa,lk 
adjacent, then a popular lounge. Miss Moore, leaning 
on Lord Edward's arm, walked down Thomas Street 
at about half-past eight o'clock on the evening of 
May 17. They were preceded by Mrs Moore, Palmer, 
and Gallaher, the latter a confidential clerk in 
Moore's employ, a man of Herculean frame, and one 
of Lord Edward's most devoted disciples. Of the in- 
tended expedition to Usher's Island the Government 
early that day received information. Thomas Moore, 
in his diary of August 26, 1830, gives the following 
particulars communicated on that day by Major 
Sirr : — " Two ways by which be (Lord Edward) 
might have come, either Dirty Lane or Watling 


Street: Sirr divided his forces, and posted himself, 
accompanied by Eegan and Emerson, in Watling 
Street, his two companions being on the other side of 
the street. Seized the first of the party, and found a 
sword, which he drew out, and this was the saving of 
his life. Assailed by them all, and in stepping back 
fell ; they prodding at him. His two friends made 
off. On his getting again on his legs, two pistols were 
snapped at him, but missed fire, and his assailants at 
last made off." 

As explanatory of the Major's statement, we may 
observe that one of Lord Edward's bodyguard was 
despatched usually about forty yards in advance. 
Majjor Sirr speaks of men prodding at his prostrate 
body, but does not tell that he wore a coat of mail 
under his uniform. Gallaher used to say that he gave 
the major seven stabs, not one of which penetrated. 
During the struggle Gallaher received from Sirr an 
ugly cut on the leg, which subsequently furnished a 
mark for identification. Meanwlule the rebel party 
hurried back with their noble charge to Thomas 
Street — ^not to Moore's, but to the nearer residence 
of Murphy, who had previously given his lordship 
generous shelter. 

The original letter which conveyed to Major Sirr 
the information touching Lord Edward's intended 
visit to Usher's Island, still exists among the " Sirr 
MSS." deposited in the Library of Trinity College, 
Dublin. The following copy has been made by Dr 
Madden, who, however, seems to agree with Thomas 
Moore in the opinion that Lord Edward's destination 
was Moira House : — 

" Lord Edward will be this evening in Watling 
Street. Place a watch in Watling Street, two houses 
up from Usher's Island;* another towards Queen's 

• This precaution was obviously lest Lord Edward sljould enter 
by the hall door on Usher's Island. — W. J. F. 


Bridge ;* a third in Island Street, at the rear of the 
stables near Watling Street, and which leads up to 
Thomas Street and Dirty Lane. At one of these 
places Lord Edward wiU be found, and will have one 
or two with him. They may he armed. Send to 
Swan and Atkinson as soon as you can. 

" Edward Cooke." 
Mr Cooke does not teU Sirr from whom he got this 
information ; nor was the major, so far as we know, 
ever cognisant of it ; but a letter written by Cooke 
for the eye of Lord Oastlereagh, and printed in the 
Comwallis correspondence, states unreservedly thai 
all the information regarding the movements of Lor£ 
Edward Fitzgerald came through Francis Higgins 
who employed a gentleman — for whose name Mr 
Cooke considerately gives a dash — " to set" the un- 
fortunate nobleman. The " setter" we believe to 
have been Mr Francis Magan, barrister-at-law, of 
whom more anon. 

Nicholas Murphy received his noble guest with a 
cead mille faille /f but next morning both wert 
thrown into a state of alarm by observing a detach- 
ment of military pass down the street, and halt before 
Moore's door.f The source from whence the espion- 
age proceeded has hitherto remained a dark and pain- 
ful mystery. Murphy hurried Lord Edward to the 
roof of the warehouse, and with some difficulty per- 
suaded him to lie in the vaUey. 

To retiu:n to Mr Francis Magan. On the day fol- 
lowing his interview with Miss Moore, he proceeded 
to her residence in Thomas Street, and with a some- 
what careworn expression, which then seemed the 
result of anxiety for Lord Edward's safety, though it 

* Lest he should come by "Dirty Lane'' instead of Watliug 
Street. Magan's is the second stable from Watling Street, although 
his hause on Usher's Island is the sixth from that street. — W. J. P. 

t Angike — A hundred thousand welcomes. 

i For carious traditional details in connexion with this incident, 
lee Mr M acready's statement in Appendix. 


was probably occasioned by bitter chagrin at being 
baulked in a profitable job, said : " I have been most 
uneasy; did anything happen? I waited up tiU 
one o'clock, and Lord Edward did not come." Miss 
Moore, who, although a woman of great strength of 
mind, did not then suspect Magan, replied: "We 
were stopped by Major Sirr in Watling Street ; we 
ran back to Thomas Street, where we most provi- 
dentially succeeded in getting Lord Edward shelter 
at Murphy's." * Mr Magan was consoled by the ex- 
planation, and withdrew. 

The friends who best knew Magan describe him as 
a queer combination of pride and bashf ulness, dignity 
and decorum, nervousness and inflexibility. He ob- 
viously did not like to go straight to the Castle and 
sell Lord Edward's blood openly. There is good 
evidence to believe that he confided all the informa- 
tion to Francis Higgins, with whom it will be shown 
3ie was peculiarly intimate, and deputed him, under 
ft pledge of strict secrecy, to make a good bargain 
with Mr Under-Secretary Cooke. 

After Lord Edward had spent a few hours lying 
n the valley of the roof of Murphy's house, he ven- 
tured to come down. The unfortunate nobleman had 
Deen suffering from a sore throat and general debi- 
lity, and his appearance was sadly altered for the 
worse. He was reclining, haK dressed, upon a bed, 
about to drink some whey which Murphy had pre- 
pared for him, when Major Swan, followed by Cap- 
tain Eyan, peeped in at the door. " You know me, 

* Communicated by Edward Macready, Esq., son of Miss Moore, 
May 17, 1865. Mias Moore, afterwards Mrs Macready, died in I8ii. 
One of her last remarks was : " Charity forbade me to express a 
suspicion which I have long entertained, that Magan was the be- 
trayer; but when I see Moore, in his Life of Lord Edward, in- 
sinuating that Neilson was a Judas, I can no longer remain silent. 
Major Sirr got timely information that we were going to Usher's 
Island. Now this intention was known only to Magan and me; 
even Lord Edward did not know our destination untU just bo£«i« 
•tarting. If Magan is innocent, then I am the informer." 

ttra IN1?0KMEKS OF '98, i I'l 

my lord, and I know you," exclaimed Swan ; "it will 
be vain to resist."* This logic did not convince 
Lord Edward. He sprang from the bed like a tiger 
from its laii', and with a wave-bladed dagger, which 
he had concealed under the pillow, made some stabs 
at the intruder, but without as yet inflicting mortal 

An authorised version of the arrest, evidently sup- 
plied by Swan himself, appears in The Eoqiress of 
May 26, 1798:— "His lordship then closed upon Mr 
Swan, shortened the dagger, and gave him a stab in 
the side, under the left arm and breast, having first 
changed it from one hand to the other over his shoul- 
der, (as Mr Swan thinks.) Finding the blood run- 
aing from him, and the impossibility to restrain him, 
he was compelled, in defence of his life," adds Swan's 
justification, "to discharge a double-barrelled pistol 
at his lordship, which wounded him in the shoulder. 
He fell on the bed, but recovering himself, ran at him 
with the dagger, which Mr Swan caught by the blade 
with one hand, and endeavoured to trip him up." 
Captain Ryan, with considerafele animation, then pro- 
ceeded to attack Lord Edward with a sword-cane, 
which bent on his ribs. Sirr, who had between two 
and three hundred men with him, was engaged in 
placing pickets round the house, when the report of 
Swan's pistol made him hurry up-stairs. "On my 
arrival in view of Lord Edward, Eyan, and Swan," 
writes Major Sirr, in a letter addressed to Captain 
Ryan's son, on December 29, 1838, "I beheld his 
lordship standing, with a dagger in his hand, as if 
ready to plunge it into my friends, while dear Ryan, 
seated on the bottom step of the flight of the upper 
stairs, had Lord Edward grasped with both his arms 
by the legs or thighs, and Swan in a somewhat simi- 
lar situation, both labouring under the torment of 
their wounds, when, without hesitation, I fired at 

« The EasBmiii, Maj 26, 1708 


Lord Edward's dagger arm, [lodging several slugs in 
his shdidder,] and the instrument of death fell to the 
ground. Having secured the titled prisoner, my first 
concern was for your dear father's safety. I 'viewed 
(lis intestines with grief and sorrow."* 

Not until a strong guard of soldieiy pressed Lore" 
Edward violently to the ground by laying their heavy 
muskets across his person, could he be bound in 
euch a way as prevented further effective resistance.f 
When they had brought the noble, prisoner, however, 
as far as the hall,J he made a renewed effort at escape, 
when a dastardly drummer from behind inflicted a 
wound in the back of his neck, which contributed to 
embitter the remaining days of his existence. He 
was then removed in a sedan to the Castle. 

The entire struggle occupied so short an interval 
that Kattigan, who, the moment he received intima 
tion of the arrest, rushed forth to muster the popu- 
Vice, in order to rescue Lord Edward, had not time 
to complete his arrangements.? Eattigan was a re- 
spectable timber-merchant, residing with his widow 
mother, in Bridgefoot Street. In Higgins' Journal 
of the day, we read : — 

" A number of pikes were yesterday discovered at 
one Eattigan's timber-yard in Dirty Lane ; as a 
punishment for which his furniture was brought out 
into the street, and set fire to and consumed." 

* Castlereagh's Correspondence, vol. i., pp. 463-4. 

t Moore's Life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. 

+ Moore's Diary, vol. vi , p. 134. 

§ Recollectiona o£ the Arrest of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. — Tht 
Comet, (newspaper,) September 11, 1831, p. 152. The original pro- 
clamation is now before us, offering a reward of £300 for the 
"discovery" of Kattigan, Lawless, and others. Kattigan escaped 
entered the French service, and died at the battle of Marengo. 
Lawless, the attached friend and agent of Lord Edward Fitzgerald;^ 
after undei;going a series of romantic adventures, also succeeded it 
eluding the grasp of his pursuers, and rose to the rank of general 
under Napoleon. For the account of Lawless's escape from Dub- 
lin, furnished by the only party competent to detail it, see Ap 

mK rMFOKMERS OF -^9. ll7 

It does liot seem to have been the wish of the 
higher members of the Government that Lord Ed- 
ward should fall into their hands. " Will no one 
urge Lord Edward to fly?" exclaimed Lord Clare. 
" I pledge myself that every port in the kingdom 
shall be left open to him." 

It is not possible to overrate the fatal severity of 
the blow which Lord Edward's arrest at that critical 
moment imparted to the popular movement. Had 
i:e lived to guide the insurrection which he had 
organised, his prestige and eminent military talents 
would probably have carried it to a successfiil issue. - 
Four days after his arrest, three out of thirty-two 
counties rose ; and to extinguish even that partial 
revolt cost the Govermnent twenty-two millions of 
pounds, and twenty thousand men. 

The late Lord Holland furnishes, in his " Memoirs," 
many interesting illustrations of Lord Edward's sweet 
»nd gentle disposition : — 

" With the most unaffected simplicity and good 
natiure he would palliate, from the force of circum- 
stances or the accident of situation, the perpetrators 
of the very enormities which had raised his high 
spirit and compassionate nature to conspire and re- 
sist. It was this kindness of heart that led him, on 
his deathbed, to acquit the officer who inflicted his 
wounds of all malice, and even to commend him for 
an honest discharge of his duty. It was this sweet- 
ness of disposition that enabled him to dismiss with 
good humour one of his bitterest persecutors, who 
had visited him in his mangled condition, if not to 
insult his misfortunes, with the idle hope of extorting 
his secret. ' I would shake hands wiUingly with you,' 
said he, ' but mine are cut to pieces. However, I '11 
diake a toe, and wish you good-bye.' " 

" Gentle when stroked, but fierce when provoked," 
has been applied to Ireland. The phrase is also 
ijiplicable in some degree to her chivalrous son, who 


liad already bled for his king as he had afterward 
bled for his country.* Murphy's narrative, supplie( 
to Dr Madden, says : — 

" It was supposed, the evening of the day befor 
he died, he was delirious, as we could hear him with ; 
very strong voice crying out, ' Come on ! come on 
(J_n you, come on!' He spoke so loud that th 
people in the street gathered to listen to it." 

Two surgeons attended daily on Lord Edwari 

This delirium is said to have been induced by th 
grossly indecent neglect to which his feelings wer 
subjected by the Irish Government. Lord Henr; 
Fitzgerald, addressing the heartless viceroy, Lor( 
Camden, " complains that his relations were excluded 
and old attached servants withheld from attending oi 

Epistolary entreaty was followed by personal sup 

" Lady Louisa ConoUy," writes Mr 6rrattan, " ii 
vain implored him, and stated that while they wer 
talking her nephew might expire ; at last she thi'e\ 
herself on her knees, and, in a flood of tears, suppli 
cated at his feet, and prayed that he would relent 
but Lord Camden remained inexorable." J 

Lord Henry Fitzgerald's feehngs found a vent ii 

* To his wounds received in active service, and his ability as 
military officer, C. J. Fox bore testimony in the House of Con 
mons on the 21st December 1792. Cobbett said that Lord Edwar 
was the only officer of untarnished personal honour whom he ha 
ever known. Even that notorioudy systematic traducer of th 
Irish popular party, Sir Bichard Musgrave, was constrained t 
praise Lord Edward's "great valour, and considerable abilities, 
" honour and humanity," " frankness, courage, and good nature." 

■|- One of the surgeons was Mr Garnett, who, in a diaiy devote 
to his noble patient, noted several interesting facts. Lord Edwar 
manifested great religious feeling, and asked Mr Garnett to rea 
the Holy Scriptures to him. We are informed by Mr CoUe 
Librarian of the Royal Dublin Society, that this MS. is now in h 

^ Memoirs of Henr? Grattiui, vol. iv.. p. 387- 


a letter, addressed to Lord Camden, of which the 
strongest passages have been suppressed by that peer's 
considerate friend, Thomas Moore : — 

" On Saturday, my poor, forsaken brother, who had 
but that night and the next day to live, was disturbed ; 
he heard the noise of the execution of Clinch at the 
prison door. He asked eagerly, ' What noise k 
that?' And, certainly, in some manner or other, he 
knew it ; for — God 1 what am I to write ? — from 
that time he lost his senses : most part of the night 
he was raving mad ; a keeper from a madhouse was 

Lord Edward Fitzgerald died in great agony, men- 
tal and bodily, on the 4th of June 1798, and was 
deposited in the vaults of St Werburgh's Church 
Hereby hangs a tale, which will be found in th. 

* Mooro's Li£e and Death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, vol, ii., r 



A Secret well Kept.— The "Setter" of Lord Edward Tracedat Last- 
Striking in the Dark.— Koman Catholic Barristers Pensioned.— 
A Lesson of Caution.— Letter to the Author from Eev. John 
Fetherston-Haugh.— Just Debts Paid with Wages of Dishonour. 
—Secret Service Money.— An Ally of " the Sham's " Analysed. 
— What were the Secret Services of Francis Magan, Barrister-at- 
law ? — Shrouded Secrets Opened. 

" One circumstance," says a writer, " is worthy of 
especial notice. Like Junius, an unfathomed mys- 
tery prevails as to who it was that betrayed Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald, and received the reward of one 
thousand pounds."* 

When one remembers the undying interest and 
lympathy which has so long been interwoven with 
the name of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, it is indeed 
surprising that for sixty-one years the name of the 
person who received one thousand pounds for disco- 
vering him should not have transpired. + The secret 
must have been known to many persons in the Castle 
and the Executive ; yet even when the circumstance 
had grown so old as to become the legitimate property 
of history, they could not be induced to relax their 
reserve. Whenever any inquisitive student of the 
jtormy period of '98 would ask Major Sirr to tell the 
name of Lord Edward's betrayer, the major invariably 
drew forth his ponderous snuff-box, inhaled a prodi- 
gious pinch, and solemnly turned the conversation. 
Thomas Moore, when engaged upon the " Life and 

* Castlereagh Correspondence, vol. i., p. 468, First Series. 

+ Francis Higgins received the £1000 for having pointed out 
Lord Edward's retreat, hut recent inquiries on the part of the 
author have ascertained that Counsellor Hagan betrayed Lord Ed- 
ward to Higgin?, 


Death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald," made two special 
visits to Ireland for the purpose of procuring on the 
spot all the sadly interesting particulars of his lord- 
ship's short hut striking career. The Castle was then 
occupied by an Irish Whig Administration, but, not- 
withstanding Moore's influence with them, and their 
sympathy, more or less, with the hero whose memory 
he was about to embalm, he failed to elicit the pecu- 
Uar information in which the Castle archives and 
library were rich. In 1841, Dr Madden was some- 
what more fortunate. He obtained access to a num- 
ber of receipts for secret service money, as weU as to 
a book, found under strange circumstances, in which 
the various sums and the names of the parties to 
whom paid are entered. But perhaps the most inter- 
esting entry was written in a way to defeat the end» 
of historic curiosity. 

In the book of " Secret Service Money Expendi- 
aire," now in the possession of Charles Halliday,Esq.,* 
5he entry, " June 2Qth [1798], F. H. Discovery oj 
L. E. F., £1000," appears on record. The researches 
of one of the most indefatigable of men proved, in 
this instance, vain. " The reader," says Dr Madden, 
"has been furnished with sufficient data to enable 
him to determine whether the initials were used to 

* Dr has given us the following account of the discovery of 

this document : — " When Lord Mulgrave, since Marquis of Nor- 
manby, was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, some official in Dublin 
Castle cleared out and sold a quantity of books and papers, which 
were purchased in one lot by John Feagan, a dealer in second-hand 
books, who had, as his place of business, a cellar at the corner of 
Henry Street. 1 had the opportunity of examining the entire col- 
lection ; but, not being much of a politician, I only selected two 
volumes — Wade's Catalogue of the Plants of the County Dublin, 
and the Catalogue of the Pineili Library, sold in London a.d. 1789, 
which I bought for Is. 6d. They, and the others of the collection, 
had each a red leather label, on which, in large gilt capitals, was 
impressed, 'Library, Dublin Castle.' Among them was the MS. 
account of the expenditure of the Secret Service money, and of 
which I was the first to point out the possible value when it was 
about to be thrown, with virious useless and imperfect books, into 
waste paper." 


designate Hughes, or some other individub,! , whether 
the similarity of the capital letters, J and F, in the 
handwriting, may admit or not of one letter being 
mistaken for another, the F for a J ; or whether a 
correspondent of Sirr's, who sometimes signed himself 
J. II., and whose name was Joel Hulbert, an in- 
former, residing, in 1798, in Monasterevan, may have 
been indicated by them."* 

Watty Cox declared that Laiirence Tighe, to whose 
house the bleeding body of Eyan was borne after Lord 
Edward's arrest, had played the spy ; while, on the 
other hand, Dr Brennan, in his Milesian Magaeine, 
broadly charged Cox with the perfidy. Murphy, au 
honest, simple-minded man, in whose house Lord 
Edward was taken, has not been exempted from sus- 
picion. The late eminent anecdotist, Mr P. Brophy, 
of Dublin, used to tell that Lord Edward's conceal- 
ment became known " through an artilleryman who 
was courting Murphy's servant-girl ;" but Thomas 
Moore unintentionally disturbs this story, which never 
reached his ears, by saying, "An old maid-servant 
was the only person in Murphy's house besides them- 
selves." The memory of Samuel Neilson, one of the 
truest disciples who followed the patriot peer, suffered 
from a dark innuendo advanced in Moore's " Life of 
Lord Edward Fitzgerald," and echoed by Maxwell 
(p. 47) in his " History of the Irish Eebellion." To 
one of the most honourable of Lord Edward's follow- 
ers, Charles Phillips, under an erroneous impression, 
refers in a startling note attached (p. 288) to the last 
edition of " Curran and his Contemporaries." Ho 
professes to know the secret, and adds: " He was to 
the last, apparently, the attached friend of his victim." 
In a memoir of O'ConneU, by Mr Mark O'CaUaghan, 
it is stated in positive terms (p. 32) that John Hughes 
received the thousand pounds for the betrayal of Lord 
Edward. The son and biographer of the notorious 

* Madden's Lives and Times of the U. Irishmen, vol. ii., p. 443. 


Eeynolds writes, (vol. ii., p. 194;) "The United 
Irishmen and their partisans, especially Mr Moore, 
emboldened by the distance of time and place, have 
insinuated that my father was the person who caused 
the arrest of Lord Edward." Further on, at p. 234, 
Mr Eeynolds flings the onus of suspicion on Murphy; 
while Murphy, in his own account of the transaction, 
says : " I heard in prison that one of Lord Edward's 
bodyguard had given some information." Again, 
Felix Kourke was suspected of the infidelity, and 
narrowly escaped death at the hands of his comrades. 
Suspicion also followed WUliam Ogilvie, Esq., who, 
as a near connexion, visited Lord Edward at Moore's, 
in Thomas Street, a few days before the arrest, and 
transacted some business with him.* Interesting as 
it is, after half a century's speculation, to discover the 
name of the real informer, it is still more satisfactory 
that those unjustly suspected of the act should be 
finally acquitted from it. It is further useful as 
teaching a lesson of caution to those who, blindfold, 
strike right and left a« friend and foe. 

One of the most valuable letters printed by Mi 
Eoss, in his " Memoirs and Correspondence of Mar- 
quis Comwallis," (vol. iii., p. 320,) is that addressed 
Dy Secretary Cooke to his Excellency, in which Mr 
Francis Higgins and others are recommended as fit 
recipients for a share in the £1500 per annum which, 
in 1791), had been placed for secret service in the 
hands of Lord Comwallis. " My occupation," writes 
this nobleman on 8th June 1799, " is now of the 
most unpleasant nature, negotiating and jobbing with 
the most corrupt people under heaven. I despise 
myself every hour for engaging in such dirty work." 

* When Miss Moore heard this dark suspicion mooted, she said. 
" If so, I know not whom to trust. I saw Lord Edward take a ring 
from his finger, and press it on Mr Ogilvie as a keepsake. Teara 
fell from Ogilvie's eyes as he grasped Lord Edward's han<J."— 
fraditions (^ the. Moore Family. 


And again : " How I long to kick those whom my 
public duty obliges me to court!" It maybe pre- 
mised that "Mac" is Leonard MacNally, the legal 
adviser and advocate of the United Irishmen. His 
opportunities for stagging were great; as, besides 
being a United Irishman himself, his name may be 
found for the defence in almost every state trial from 
Hamilton Rowan's to that of the Catholic Delegates 
in 1811.* 

" Pensions to Loyalists.— 1 submit to your lordship 

on this head the following: — First, that Mac 

should have a pension of £300. He was not much 
trusted in the Rebellion, and I believe has been faith- 
ful. Francis Higgins, pl-oprietor of the Freeman's 
Jom-nal, was the person who procured for me all the 
intelligence respecting Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and 

got to set him, and has given me much in/or- 

mation, £300. "f 

Mr Under-Secretary Cooke and Francis Higgins 
were old acquaintances. The former came to Ireland 
ji 1778 with Sir Richard Heron, chief secretary 
under Lord Buckinghamshire, and, having efficiently 
acted as his clerk, was appointed military secretary 
in 1789, and obtained a seat in the Irish Parliament. J 
During the Rutland Administration, Mr Cooke con 
tributed papers to the Freeman's Jouimal, "under 
the auspices of the Sham Squire ;" one entitled 
" The Sentinel" acquired some historic notoriety.§ 
Mr Cooke's services were further rewarded by the 
office of Clerk of Commons, with £800 a year, as 

* See Appendix. 

f It is strange that Mr Ross, who has generally exhibited auoh 
vigilance and research as editor of the Cornwallis Papers, should 
print such a note as the following, (vol. ii., p. 339 :) — " The man 
who gave the information which led to his arrest received £1000, 
but his name has never transpired." 

J Castlereagh Correspondence, vol, 1., p. 113. 
Irish Political Characters, T^ond. 1799, p. 130. 

THE INFORM Kits OF '98. l25 

well as by the lucrative sinecure of Customer of 

At a later period he became Secretary to the Trea- 
sury and Under-Secretary of State in the War 
and Colonial Department. For some account of Mi 
Cooke's extraordinarily active and wily services in 
promoting the legislative union, see notice of Mr 
Trench in the Appendix. 

Before we had thoroughly succeeded in unshroud 
ing Mr Magan's share in the betrayal of Lord Ed- 
ward, the following and many more remarks, tracing 
it on circumstantial evidence, were in type: — 

The considerate and cautious way in which Mi 
Cooke leaves a blank for the name of the individual 
who performed the office of " setter," at the instance 
of Higgins, suggests that he must have been a person 
of some station in society, and one whose prospects 
and peace of mind might suffer were he publiclj 
known to have tracked Lord Edward Fitzgerald to 
destruction.* Mr Cooke also leaves a blank for the 
name of Leonard MacNally, the base betrayer of his 
unfortunate clients. 

In the first volume of the second edition of Dr 
Madden's " United Irishmen," he furnishes, from p. 
364, an interesting account of "the secret service 
money expended in detecting treasonable conspiracies, 
extracted from original official documents." At p. 
393, we learn that Mr Francis Magan, a Eomai 
Catholic barrister, not only received large sums down, 
but enjoyed to his death an annual pension of £200. 
On the back of all Mr Magan's receipts the chief 
secretary has appended a memorandiim, implying 
that Mr Magan belonged to a class who did not wish 

* An 'old friend of Mr Magan'a informs us that he mixed in good 
society, and held his head high. The same informant adds that he 
was stiff, reserved, and consequential; he often served with Magan 
on Catholic Boards, where, owing to these causes, he was not a 

126 tirs SHAM SQtJlM 

to criminate openly, but stagged sub rcsa. Dr 
Madden remarks: — "Counsellor Magan's services 
to Grovernment, whatever they were, were well rie- 
warded. Besides his secret pension of £200 a year, 
he enjoyed a lucrative official situation in the Four 
Courts up to the time of his decease. He was one of 
the commissioners for enclosing commons." 

In reply to an application addressed by us to an 
old friend of Mr Magan's, it has been urged that the 
fact of his having received a pension from the Crown 
is no presumptive evidence of secret service at the 
period of '98, inasmuch as nearly all " the Catholic 
barristers were similarly purchased, including Coun- 
sellors DonneUan, MacKenna, Lynch, and Bellew." 
Unluckily, however, for this argument, we find the 
following data in that valuable collection of state 
papers, the " Oornwallis Correspondence," vol. iii., p. 
106 :— " In 1798," writes Mr Eoss, " a bill passed to 
enable the Lord-Lieutenant to grant pensions, to the 
amount of £3000, as a recompense to persons wlw 
had rendered essential service to the state duritig the 
rebellion. This sum was to be paid to the under- 
secretary, through whose hands it was confidentially 
to pass. By a warrant, dated June 23, 1799, it was 
divided as follows : — 

Thomas Beynolds, his wife, and two sons,* . £1000 
Mrs Elizabeth Cope, and her three daughters,! 1000 
John Warneford Armstrong, % . . . 500 
Mrs Eyan, widow of D. F. Eyan,§ and his 

daughters, 200 

Mr Francis Magan 200 

Balance to pay fees, &c., , . 100' 


* The wholesale betrayer of his associates. 

t Wife of Mr Cope, " who managed Reynolds." 

t Betrayer of John and Henry Sheares. 

§ Mr Ryan, who aided in the arrest of Lord Edward. 

TJTB nTroKIIKKS OF 98 127 

No douui, Mr Magan was the mysterious gentle- 
man whom Francis Higgins urged to " set" Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald. Between the Magan family and 
Mr Higgins a close intirhacy subsisted for many 
years.* The barrister's father was the late Thomas 
Magan, of High Street, woollen-draper, traditionally 
known by the sobriquet of " Whistling Tom." In 
the Dublin Directory for 1770, his name and occu- 
pation appear for the first time. So far back as June 
30, 1789, we find it recorded in the Dublin Evening 
Post, that " yesterday Mr Magan, of High Street, 
entertained Mr Francis Higgins" and others. " The 
glass circulated freely, and the evening was spent 
with the utmost festivity and sociaJity." The Post, 
in conclusion, ironically calls him " Honest Tom 
Magan." By degrees we find Mr Tom Magan dab- 
bling in Government politics. The Evening Post ol 
Nov. 5, 1789, records: — 

" Mr Magan, the woollen-draper in High Street, in 
conjunction with his friend, Mr Higgins, is preparing 
ropes and human brutes to drag the new viceroy to the 
palace. It was Mr Magan and the Sham Squire who pro- 
vided the materials for the triumphal entry of Lord Buck- 
ingham into the capital, t Quere — Should not the inhabi- 
tants of Dublin who had their windows broken on that 
glm'ious illumination order their glaziers to entreat Mr 
Magan and Mr Higgins to cast an eye on the tots ? Mr 
Magan is really clever, and never has flinched in his par- 
tiality and attention to the cause of Mr Francis Higgins. Mr 

* Mysteriously close ties continued to bind Magan and Higgins 
to the last. Mr James Curran, in a letter dated Rathmines, Deo. 
6, 1866, referring to the will of Higgins and some litigation which 
grew out of it, writes : — " A small freehold property, held by Coun- 
sellor Magan, was legally adjudged to P. Higgins, of Philadelphia. 
This decision was appealed from to the Court of Chancery, and 
Higgins left for America, after placing his affairs in the hands of a 
Mr Norman, his attorney. On the appeal, Mr Norman submitted 
a letter of Lord Carhampton's, which stated that "the Squire" 
was only trustee for Magan. 

t See p. 33, ante. 


Magan has the honour, and that frequently, to dine Messrs 
Higgins, Daly, Brennan, and Houlton." 

The last two named, it will be remembered, were 
the Sham Squire's colleagues in journalism. 

The Post further instances an act of great friend- 
ship which Mr Magan performed with a view to 
serve Mr Higgins. And there is good reason t« 
believe that the Sham Squire was not unmindful of 
those services. In the Directory for 1794 we find 
Mr Tom Magan styled " woollen-draper and mercei 
to his Majesfy" — a very remarkable instance of stat« 
favour towards any Eoman Catholic trader at that 
period of sectarian prejudice and ascendency. George 
III., however, gave Mr Magan no custom, and he 
died poor in 1797. With his son, who was called to 
the bar in Michaelmas Term 1796, Mr Higgins con- 
tinued to maintain a friendly intercourse. From the 
year 1796 Francis Magan resided with his sister until 
his death in 1843, at 20 Usher's Island. From th« 
" Castlereagh ■ Papers " (i. 459) we learn that Mr 
Secretary Cooke received positive information of these 
movements of Lord Edward in the vicinity of Usher' i 
Island which preceded the final intelligence that 
led to his arrest some days afterwards in Thomas 
Street. Mr Cooke's letter assures the viceroy that all 
the information respecting Lord Edward had come 
from Francis Higgins, who got some gentleman, for 
whose name the under-secretary considerately give» 
a dash, " to set" the unfortunate young nobleman. 

Mr Higgins at once claimed his blood-money, and 
on the 20th June 1798, we find that one thousand 
pounds were paid to him. How much of this «um 
was given by the Sham Squire to his friend " the 
setter," or what pre^dous agreement there may have 
been between them, wiU probably never be known. 
We are rather disposed to suspect that Higgins 
tricked his tongue-tied colleague by pocketing the 
lion's share himself. Magan, by right, ought to have 


received the advertised reward of £1000 ; but it ap- 
pears from the Government records that this round 
sum went into Higgins's hand conjointly with a pen- 
sion of £300 a year "for the discovery of L. E. F." 
Magan obtained but £200 a year for the information 
of which Higgins was merely the channel ; though 
later in life he received office, and sums for other 
discoveries. In the long array of items extracted 
by Dr Madden from the Secret-Service Book, per 
affidavit of Mr Cooke, we find imder date " Septem- 
ber 11, 1800," 

" Magan, per Mr Higgins, . . £300." 

The sums of £500 and £100 were afterwards 
privately presented to Mr Magan, pursuant to the 
provisions of the Civil List Act, wliich placed money 
in the hands of the viceroy " for the detection of 
treasonable conspiracies." These douceurs were, of 
course, in addition to the payments made quarterly 
to Mr Magan for the term of his natural life, and foi 
which his receipts stiU exist. 

Mr Magan possessed peculiar facilities, local and 
otherwise, for " setting " the movements of Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald anif the United Irishmen who 
habitually met in Con MacLaughKn's house, at 13 
Usher's Island. Lady Edward, as we learn from 
Moore's Memoirs, was at Moira House, close to Mr 
Magan's residence, while his lordship lay concealed 
in Thomas Street adjacent. 

Francis Magan, who became a member of the 
Irish Bar in 1796, found himself briefless, and with- 
out " connexion " or patrimony. A drowning man, 
'tis said, will catch at a straw, and we have seen 
how he turned to mercenary account the peculiar 
knowledge which he acquired. Yet he would seeEQ 
to have made a false conscience, for with the wages 
of dishonour, he paid his just debts. The following 
letter, addressed to us by the Bev. John Fetherston 


Haugh, is not without interest. It has been argued 
by one of the friends of Mr Magan, that he who 
would do the one would scorn to do the other ; but it 
must be remembered that Mr Magan, subsequent to 
'98, was on the high-road to riches, and while the 
bond to which he was a party existed, he was, of 

course, legally liable. 

" Gbittinstowij House, Kinkbgad. 
" My deae Sir, — In reply to your letter respect- 
mg Mr Francis Magan, I beg to say that my grand- 
famer, Thomas Fetherston of Bracket Castle, was 
m the habit, for years, of lodging in High Street, 
Dublin, at the house of Thomas Magan, a draper, 
and departed this life in his house. My father, on 
inspecting my grandfather's papers, found a joint 
bond from the draper and his son for £1000, and on 
speaking to the draper respecting its payment, he 
told him he was insolvent,* so my father put it 
into his desk, counting it waste paper. ^ Some years 
elapsed, and the son came to Bracket Castle, my 
father's residence, and asked for the bond, ' for what?' 
said my father. To his astonishment, he said it was 
to pay it. I was then but a boy, but I can now 
almost see the strange scene, it made so great at 
impression on me. Often my father told me Magan 
paid the £1000, and he could not conceive where he 
got it, as he never held a brief in court. He was 
puzzled why the Crown gave him place and pension. 
Believe me, &c., I. Fetherston H." 

As we have already said, in the official account of 
Secret Service money expended iu detecting trea- 
sonable conspiracies, the item, 

' September 11, 1800, Magan, per Mr Higgins, £300,' 

trrests attention. ^ In the hope that Higgins's journal 
of the day would announce some special discovery of 

* The statement was doubtleBS correct. No will of Thomas llagan 
i?^8 proyec) in ^]in Jrah Prolate Court. 


treason, tending to explain the circumstances under 
which the above douceur of £300 was given, we con- 
wlted the files, but found nothing tending to throw a 
Kght on the matter, unless the following paragraphs 
published in the issues of August 12, and of Sep- 
tember 9, 1800:— 

" Yesterday Major Swan took into custody a person 
Darned M'Cormick,* who is well-known in the seditious 
circle, and lodged him in the guard-house of the Castle. 
He wore a green riband in his breast, which had a device 
wrought upon it of two hands frcitemalli/ united by a grip, 
which, he said, was the badge of a new (it is supposed Erin- 
go-Bragh) order." 

The second paragraph refers to " recent discoveries" 
in general terms only, but the style is amusing : — 

"Some of these offenders who were concerned in the 
late conspiracies with United Irishmen, to whom th« 
lenity of Gk>vemment had extended amnesty on assurances 
of their becoming useful and proper subjects, having been 
recently discovered from their malignant tongues to be mis- 
creants unworthy of the mercy and support extended to 
them, from their continual applauses of the common foe 
and his friends, and their maligning the first characters 
in the Qovemment and their measures, it is intended to 
dispose of these vipers, not as was at first intended, but in 
I, manner that their perfidy and ingratitude merit." 

Besides his pension of £200 a year and a place 
under the Crown, given in recognition of secret ser- 
vices, Mr Francis Magan further received, on De- 
cember 16, 1802, as appears from the account of 
secret service money expenditure, £500 in hand. 
This round sum, it is added, was given " by direc- 
tion of Mr Orpen." The secret service for which 
£500 was paid must have been one of no ordinary 

• P. M'Cormick, a "noted" rebel, is mentioned in Madden's 
"United Irishmen,"!. 519, as residing in High Street. Did Mr 
Magan's long residence in High Street furnish him with any facilities 
for tracing this man t 


importance. Conjecture is narrowed as to the par- 
ticular nature of tjie service by the heading of the 
document, i.e., "Account of Secret Service Money 
a/pplied in detecting treasonable conspiracies, pursuant 
to the provisions of the Civil-List Act of 1793." A 
study of the historical events of the time., with a 
comparison of the dates, finds one or two discoveries 
in which Magan may have been concerned. About 
the year 1802 a formidable attempt was made to re- 
kindle the insurrection in the county of Cork. Ser- 
geant Beatty, its leader, after skirmishing with the 
king's troops and killing several, escaped to Dublin, 
where, while in the act of reorganising his plot, he was 
arrested and hanged.* In 1802, Eichard F. Orpen, 
Esq., was high sheriff for the county of Corkrf- " He 
raised corps of volunteers for the suppression of the 
rebellion, was of an active mind, and well acquainted 
with persons of rank and influence." % There is but 
one family of the name in Ireland. It was, doubt- 
less, this gentleman who urged the reward of £500 
to Magan in 1802 ; and, probably, the secret service 
was the discovery of the Cork conspirator. 

In 1802 also transpired the plans of William Dow- 
dall, a confidential agent alike of Colonel Despard 
in England, and of Eobert Emmet in Ireland. To- 
wards the end of that year we find him in Dublin, 
with the object of extending their projects. Sud- 
denly the news came that on November 13, 1802, 
Despard and twenty-nine associates were arrested in 
London. § Dowdall fled, and after some hairbreadth 
escapes reached France. No imputation on his fide- 

• Bevelations of Ireland, by D. 0. Madden, p. 130, et sej. See 
Appendix for further details. 

f See files of the public journals for Februaiy 1802. 

j Letter from Richard F. John Orpen, Esq., August 16, 1865. 

§ Plowden's History of Ireland from the Union, vol. i., p. 156. 
The Higgins journal of November 23, 1802, states, but without suf- 
ficient accuracy, that " the major part are Irish." Lord Ellenbor- 
ough tried the prisoners, seven were hanged and deoapiijated. — Trial 
of Edward Marcus Despard. Tmnrlou : Guruey, 1803. P. 269. 


lity has ever been made. ■ That Despard's plans ex- 
tended to Ireland is not generally understood; but 
the "Castlereagh Papers" (ii. 3) show that he was 
one of the most determined of the Society of United 
Irishmen. The Higgins journal of November 25, 
1802, records :— 

" The lounging Erin-go-Braghites in this town seem 
somewhat frightened since they heard of the apprehension 
of Colonel Despard and his myrmidons. It marks a sym- 
pathy which, with the close whisperings and confabs that 
of late have been observable among them, incline some t« 
think that tliey have not left off the old trade of dealing 
in baronial and other constitutions." 

" Kobert Emmet," says Mr Fitzgerald, in a narra- 
tive say lied to Dr Madden, " came over from France 
in Octd.jer 1802. He (Emmet) wa.s soon in com- 
munication with several of the leaders who had taken 
an active part in the previous rebellion." * Emmet 
is probably included among the " Erin-go-Bragliites" 
thus indicated by the Higgins journal of November 
2, 1802 :— 

" Several Erin-go-Braghites have arrived in this city 
within a few days past, after viewing (as they would a 
monster) the First Consul. They do not, however, use the 
idolising expressions of that character they were wont, 
which shows that he has not been courteous to the eu- 
.couragers of pihe-mongering in this country." 

In the latter part of 1802, owing to private infor- 
mation, Emmet's residence near MiUtown was searched 
by Major Swan.t The abortive insurrection of which 
he was the leader did not take place until July 23 in 
the following year. A memorandum of Major Sirr's, 
preserved with his papers in Trinity OoUege, Dublin, 
mentions, in contradiction to a generally-received 
opinion, that early intimation of Kobert EmmetV 
scheme did reach the Goverrmient. 

* Life and Times of the United Irishmen, vol. iii., p. 330. 
t Statement of llr Patten to Dr Kadden, Ibid., p. 339. 

134 THE SUAM SQtllBt) At^D 

The purchase of Mr Magan by the Grovernment 
was at this time unknown to the public. As a Ko- 
man Catholic, and a member of the former society of 
United Irishmen, no disposition to suspect him seems 
to have taken possession of his friends.* The fact 
that he had been a member of the Lawyers' Corps 
awakened no misgiving. All the Catholic barristers, 
as a matter of course, joined it ; and some of the 
most determined United Irishmen, including Mac- 
ready and others, were known to wear the yeoman 
uniform, merely with the object of cloaking them- 

* Dr Brennan, in the second number of hia Milesian Magaxint, y. 
49, enumerates the Boman Catholic barristers who had received 
pensions. Mr Magan's name is not included. Dr Brennan men- 
tions the names of Donnellan, Bellew, Lynch, and MacKenna. Mr 
Sheil, in his paper on the " Catholic Bar," contributed to the New 
Monthly Magazine for February 1827, thus specially refers to the 
above four barristers : — 

"Every one of those gentlemen were provided for by Govern- 
ment. Mr Donnellan obtained a place in the revenue ; Mr MacKenna 
wrote some very clever political tracts, and was silenced with a pen- 
sion ; Mr Lynch married a widow with a pension, which was doubled 
after his marriage ; and Mr'Bellew is in the receipt of £600 a year, 
paid to him quarterly. 

" Lord Castlereagh was well aware of the importance of securing 
the support of the leading Roman Catholic gentry at the union, and 
the place of assistant-barrister was promised to Mr Bellew. It became 
vacant : Lord Castlereagh was reminded of his engagement, when, 
behold ! a petition, signed by the magistrates of the county to 
which Mr Bellew was about to be nominated, is presented to the 
Lord-Lieutenant, praying that a Roman Catholic should not be ap-~ 
pointed to any judicial office, and intimating their determination 
not to act with him. A pension equivalent to the salary of a chair- 
man was given to Mr Bellew, and he was put in the enjoyment of 
the fruits of the office, without the labour of cultivation. 

+ All the Catholic barristers, with the object of averting suspi- 
cion or persecution, became members of the Lawyers' Corps. 
Among others, Daniel O'Connell and Nicholas Purcell O'Qorman, 
both United Irishmen, belonged to the corps. 

O'Connell served as a private in the corps. The uniform was 
blue, with scarlet facings and rich gold lace. — See Memoir of O'Con- 
nell, by his son, vol. i., p. 13. In Mr Daunt's Recollections of 
O'Connell, voL 11., p. 99, O'Connell is foimd pointing out a house in 
James's Street, which, when a member of the Lawyers' Corps, he 
searched for " Croppies." For an account of O'Connell's connexion 
with the United Irishmen see Appendix. 

THE INFORMKRS 0> ■««. 135 

A brother barrister and old friend of Mr Magan's 
informs us that he enjoyed some chamber practice ; 
but, though he sometimes appeared in the hall, 
equipped for forensic action, he never spoke in court. 
Mr Magan, as one of the first and few Eoman Catho- 
lic barristers called on the relaxation of the Penal 
Code, is very likely to have been consulted during 
the troubled times, by his co-religionists who were 
implicated in the conspiracy. 

The influential leaders of the United Irishmen 
were mostly Protestants, and Leonard MacNaUy, 
who generally acted as counsel to the body, having 
deserted the Catholic for the Protestant faith, failed 
to command from Catholics that unlimited confidence 
which a counsel of their own creed would inspire. 
" Mac," writes Mr Secretary Cooke, addressing Lord 

Oastlereagh, " Mac was not much trusted in the 

rebellion."* Counsellor Magan, on the contrary, 
was not, for nearly half a century, suspected.f Mac- 
Nally lived in Dominic Street, and later in Hai'court 
Street — a considerable distance from the more dis- 
turbed part of Dublin ; but Mr Magan's chamber for 
consultation lay invitingly open at No. 20 Usher's 
Island, in the very hotbed of the conspiracy. 

The discoveries to which we have referred were 
made towards the latter end of the year 1802. On 
December 15, 1802, one secret payment (A £50(7 
alone is slipped into the hand of "Counsellc' 

"In the month of March, [1803,"] writes Lori 
Hardwicke, the then viceroy, " Government received 
information of O'Quigley's return, and others of the 
exiled rebels, and that they were endeavouring to 
sound the disposition of the people of the coun^ of 

* Comwallis Correspondence, toL iii., p. 820. 

t The Irish Bar was sadly dishonoured in those days. — See Ap 
pendiz for the secret services of Leonard MacNally, and of that 
prince of duplicity, Samuel Turner, barrister-at-law, whose pro 
perty waa insincerely threatened with attainder by the crown 


Dublin. A confidential agent was in consequence 
sent into tliat county, whose accounts were very satis- 
factory as to the state of the people, and of the un- 
willingness of any of the middle class, who had pro- 
perty to lose, to engage in any scheme of rebellion."* 

Whether Francis Magan was the confidential agent 
thus sent into the country we know not ; but it is at 
least certain that in the month of April 1803, he is 
found within forty-seven miles of Dublin, and receiv- 
ing money for political espionage. 

" The Account of Secret Service Money applied in 
Detecting Treasonable Conspiracies," contains the fol- 
lowing entry : — 

"April 2, 1803, Magan, by post to Philipstown, £100."+ 

The Philipstown assizes were held at this time. 
But so far from any important political trials being 
in progress there, from which Magan, in his legal 
capacity, might gather a secret, no business what- 
ever was done, and as the newspaper report of the 
day records, the chairman received, in consequence, a 
pair of white gloves trimmed with gold lace. We 
must look elsewhere for Mr Magan's secret services at 
Philipstown in 1803. 

Thomas WUde and John Mahon were two of Em- 
jnet's most active emissaries, and in a statement of 
Duggan's supplied to Dr Madden, it is stated that 
they proceeded to " Kildare, Naas, Maynooth, Kil- 
cuUen, and several other towns," in order to stimulate 
the people. The formidable character of Wilde and 
Mahon was known to Major Sirr, who in a memoran- 
dum preserved with his other papers, states that their 

* This original MS. statement of Lord Hardwicke's, of which 
Dr Madden c^terwards had the use, we fully transcribed in 1S55. 

■{- An entry in the same form introduces the name n{ M'Gucken, 
the treacherous attorney for the United Irishmen, whose exploits 
will be found in our Appendix : — 

" January 1, 1801, M'Gucken, per post to Belfast, ^£100." 


retreat is sometimes " at the gaoler's in PhUipstmon, 
who is married to Wilde's sister." 

Francis Magan, it is not unlikely, when one hun- 
d^'ed pounds reached him by post at Philipstown in 
1803, was quietly ascertaining the locale of Wilde 
and Mahon. 

A letter from Captain CaulfieW, written on Dec. 
17, 1803, but to which the date " 1798" has been by 
some oversight affixed in Dr Madden's valuable work 
on the United Irishmen,* is also preserved among the 
Sirr papers, and details the progress of a search for 
Wilde and Mahon, first at Philipstown, and finally 
at BaUycommon, within two miles of it. Yeomanry 
and dragoons surrounded the house; a hot conflict 
ensued, " and," confesses Captain Caulfield, " we were 
immediately obliged to retire. . . . The villains made 
their escape. The gaoler of Philipstown and wife are 
in confinement." 

John Brett, the maternal grandfather of the pre- 
sent writer, resided with his family, in 1798, at 21 
Usher's Island. No evidence of sedition existed 
against him, unless that furnished by the old aphorism, 
"Show me your company, and I can teU who you 
are." John Brett was peculiarly intimate with Con 
MacLaughlin, and much intercourse existed between 
their faimlies. James Tandy, son of the arch rebel, 
Napper Tandy, was also a frequent visitor, and Mr 
Brett possessed the friendship of Oliver Bond. One 
morning Mr Brett's family were startled at the news 
that Major Sirr, with a chosen guard, was demand- 
ing admittance at the street door. Miss Maria Brett, 
the aunt of the writer, cognisant of only one act of 
political guilt, ran to her music-book, tore out a 
strongly national song, and flung the leaf, crushed 
up, on the top of a chest of drawers. Major Sirr 
entered precisely as this silly achievement had been 
completed, and found the young lady palpitating 

• Lives and Times of the United Irishmen, vol. i., p. 522. 


beneath the weight of her guilty secret. A search 
for pikes was immediately commenced ; drawers were 
rifled, wardrobes upset, beds diligently searched, and, 
in the midst of the confusion, what should turn up 
but the national song ? which, had it been suffered 
to remain La the music-book, would never have ex- 
cited attention. Major Sirr solemnly put on his 
spectacles, and read the democratic sentiments with a 
visage much longer than the lines in which they were 
ensmined. The search was resumed with renovated 
vigour, and from the beds in the sleeping rooms the 
soldiers now proceeded to uproot some recently dug 
beds in the garden. Major Sirr, baffled in his hopes 
and bitterly chagrined, withdrew ; but he had a dex- 
terous stroke of vengeance in store for John Brett. 
Next day an enormous detachment of soldiers' wives 
arrived, bag and baggage, at Usher's Island, loudly 
demanding hospitali^, and producing an official order 
for that purpose. Mr Brett was obliged to submit to 
the troublesome incubus, which remained for several 
weeks biUeted upon his iamily. He could never 
guess the source which had suggested to the Govern- 
ment the expediency of searchmg the house ; but we 
aie inclined to harbour the suspicion that the Mat 
must have come from his vigilant neighbour next 
door, Mr Francis Magan. 

The files of the popular journals during the earlier 
part of the present centuiy would, if diligently con- 
sulted, exhibit Francis Magan* as a zealous Catholic 
patriot. Thus, Mr Megan's name may be found, in 
conjunction with those of Lords Fingal, NettervUle, 
and Ffrench, Su- E. Bellew, Sir H. O'Eeilly, Daniel 

* It is not unlikely to Magan that the Duke of Wellington refers 
in his letter to Sir Charles Sazton, dated London, 17th ITovember 
1808 : — "I think that as there are some interesting Catholic ques- 
tions afloat now, you might feed with another £100." — Irish 

Correapondenee of the Duke of Wellington, pp. 486-6. 

TBt ini'ormSrs of '98. 139 

O'Oonnell, Dr Dromgoole, " Barney Ooyle,"* Con 
MacLaughlin,* Silvester Costigan* Fitzgerald of 
Geraldine * and others, convening an aggregate meet- 
ing of the Catholics of Ireland on the26th of December 
1811, to address the Prince Eegent " on the present 
situation of Catholic affairs." A few days previously, 
Lords Fingal and Netterville had been successively 
forced from the chair at a Catholic meeting by Ml 
Hare, a police magistrate. Among the denouncers of 
the Government at the aggregate meeting was Leo 
nard MacNally ; and M'Grucken, the false attorney 
to the United Irishmen, took an equally patriotic 
part at Belfast.f 

Mr Magan also passed for an incorruptible patriot 
at the period of the Union. His naflie may be found, 
with MacNally's, among " the virtuous minority" 
who, at the Bar Meeting, opposed the Union. 

The few surviving friends of Mr Magan describe 
him as a prim and somewhat unsociable being, though 
moving in good society. He looked wise, but he 
never showed much proof of wisdom, and it was more 
than once whispered in reference to him, " StiU 
waters run deep." For the last twenty years of his 
life he rarely went out, unless in his official capacify 
as commissioner. He never married, and lived a 
recluse at 20 Usher's Island. He became shrinking 
and timid, and, with one or two exceptions, including 

Master , did not like to meet old friends. Since 

'the year '98, it seemed as if his house had not beer 
painted or the windows cleaned. The neighbourg 
wondered, speculated, and pried ; but Magan's win> 
dows or doings could not be seen through. J 

From this dingy retreat, festooned with cobwebs, 

* Those persons had been United Irishmen. 

t See Appendix. 

+ " The neighbours used to say that there was a mystery about 
the Magans whieh no one could fathom." — Letttr from l^veater 
R d, Eaq. 


Mr Magan, almost choked in a stiff white cravat, 
would, as we have said, occasionally emerge, and 
pick his steps stealthily to the courts in which he 
held office. 

This demeanour may have been owing to a secret 
consciousness of dishonour, and was doubtless aggra- 
vated by a shrewd suspicion expressed by the late Mr 
Joseph Hamilton. 

To explain this, a slight digression is necessary. 
In 1830 appeared Moore's life of Lord Edward Fitz- 
gerald, and it may be conceived with what trepida- 
tion Mr Magan turned over the leaves, fearful of find- 
ing the long-sealed secret told. " Treachery," writes 
Moore, " and it is still unknown from what source, 
was at work." ' Here the Counsellor, no doubt, 
breathed freely, especially when he read — " From my 
mention of these particulars respecting NeUson, it 
cannot fail to have struck the reader that some share 
of the suspicion of having betrayed Lord Edward 
attaches to this man." Hamilton Eowan and the 
friends of Neilson indignantly spurned the imputa- 
tion, which Moore, further on, sought to qualify. Mr 
Joseph Hamilton made some inquiries, and the result 
was a suspicion that Mr Magan was the informer. 
He failed to find that evidence which we have since 
adduced ; but his suspicion was deeply rooted, and he 
avowed it in general society. 

In 1843 Mr Magan died. He was generally re- 
garded as an honourable man; and an eminent- 
Queen's counsel stood beside his death-bed The 
accompanying letter reached us from the gentleman 
to whom we allude: — 

" I never, directly or indirectly, heard anything of 
the alleged charge against Frank Magan during his 
life. I was on habits of intimacy with him to the 
day of his death, and was with him on his death-bed. 
He always bore a high character, as far as I could 
ever learn, either at the bar or in society. Mr 


Hamilton, to my surprise, wrote to me after liis 
death, cautioning me against taking any of the money 
to which, he supposed, I was entitled as a legatee. I 
was not one, and never got a penny by the poor fellow. 
I can say no more." 

Mr Hamilton thought that it was beneath his cor- 
respondent to accept a bequest derived from so base 
a source. 

Mr Magan's will, drawn up hurriedly on his death- 
bed, in January 1843, and witnessed by his con- 
fessor, Eev. P. Monks, occupies but a few lines, and 
bequeaths the entire of his property to Elizabeth, his 
sister. Uidike his friend, the Sham Squire, who 
desired that his remains should be interred with 
public pomp, Francis Magan directs that his body 
may be buried with as nuich economy and privacy as 
decency permits.* 

Miss Magan, an eccentric spinster, continued to 
reside alone at Usher's Island after her brother's 
deatL She found herself, on his demise, possessed 
of an enormous sum of money ; and she became so 
penurious, anxious, and nervous, that the poor lady 
was in constant fear of being attacked or robbed. 
From almost every person who approached her she 
shrunk with terror. Miss Magan felt persuaded that 
designs on her purse, to be accomplished by either 
force or fraud, were perpetually in process of concoc- 
tion by her narrow circle of friends. Death at last 
released Miss Magan from this mental misery. She 
left considerable sums in charity, and, amongst others, 
twelve thousand pounds, as the late Rev. Dr Tore 
assured us, for founding a lunatic asylum at Fairview. 
With the death of this lady the family of which sbc 
was a member became. extinct, and we therefore fc-d 
the less hesitation in mentioning their names. 

It may, perhaps, be said that any new suggestions 
or remarks regarding the informers of '98 should he 

* Records of the Prerogative Court, Dublin. 


left to Dr Madden, who has devoted much time and 
space to the suhject. But Dr Madden himself does 
not seem to hold these narrow sentiments. 

In the " United Irishmen," (vol. ii., 446,) he throws 
out suggestions " to those who may be disposed to 
follow up his efforts to bring the betrayer's memory 
to justice." 

It may also be objected that we have devoted un- 
due space to tracing the betrayers of Lord Edward 
Fitzgerald ; but the following remarks, expressed by 
the veteran historian of '98, show that the subject is 
one highly deserving of elucidation. 

" And now," writes Dr Madden, " at the conclusion 
of my researches on this subject of the betrayal of 
Lord Edward Fitzgerald, I have to confess they have 
not been successful. The betrayer still preserves his 
incognito ; his infamy, up to the present time, (Jan. 
1858,) remains to be connected with his name, and, 
once discovered, to make it odious for evermore. . . . 
Nine-and-fifty years the secret of the sly, skulking 
villain has been kept by his employers, with no com- 
mon care for his character or his memory. But, dead 
or alive, his infamy wiU be reached in the long run, 
and the gibbeting of that name of his will be accom- 
iplished in due time." 

It must be remembered that Dr Madden was the 
first to set inquiry on a sound track, by citing from 
the Secret Service Money Book the initials of the 
Sham Squire, i.e., " F. H. for the discovery of 
L. E. F.. £1000." In 1858 the " Oomwams Papers " 
appeared, disclosing the name Francis Higgins. A 
pamphlet from our pen appeared soon after, entitled, 
" A Note to the Cornwallis Papers," in which were 
published many of the remarks contained in our sixth 
chapter, and pointing, on purely circumstantial evi- 
dence, to Mr Magan as the " setter " employed by 
Higgins. The fourth volume of the " United Irish- 
men," published in 1860. not^'id the " Cornwallis 

TliE INFORMERS OF 'y«. J 43 

Papers," and, indirectly, the pamphlet which followed 
its publication : — 

" These revelations," writes Dr Madden, (p. 679,) 
"leave us whoHy uninformed as to the traitor who 
actually betrayed Lord Edward — who sold his blood 
to the agent of Government, Mr Francis Higgins. 
AU that we have learned, I repeat, from the recent 
publication of the ' Cornwallis Correspondence,' is, 
that Francis Higgins obtained the secret for Govern- 
ment of Lord Edward's place of concealment, but of 
the setter employed by Higgins we know nothing, 
and all that we have reason to conclude is, that the 
setter was one in the confidence of Lord Edward and 
his associates." 

Now, we respectfully submit that the more recent 
researches which will be found in our fifth and sixth 
chapters prove to demonstration that the " setter" waa 
Counsellor Francis Magsn. 



Was Higgins Guiltless of Oliver Bond's Blood? — Walter Cox.— Eey 
nolds the Informer. — William Cope. — Insatiable Appetite fot 
Blood-money. — A Dark and Painful Mystery. — Lord Wycombe 
Walks in the Footsteps of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and Spiev. 
FoUow in the Footsteps of Lord Wycombe. 

There is no man so bad but that he might be worse ; 
and the will of Francis Higgins, to which we shall 
soon refer, shows that he was not incapable of a 
generous impulse ; but on the whole we cannot divest 
ourselves of the suspicion that his general policy was 
worse, and his dark deeds more numerous than have 
in black and white transpired. When a man is once 
suspected and convicted of peculiar turpitude, there 
ifi no limit to the suspicions which ever after follow 

A remarkable passage occurs in Walter Cox's Irish 
MagmiTie for November 1813, p. 52.* 

"We tope," writes Cox, "no greater evil will be sus- 
tained by Mr Scully than what this act of the Freeman's 
Journal has inflicted ; had we nothing more to record, to 
the prejudice of Irish interests, than such impotent, and 
we may say harmless nonsense, Oliver Bond and Lord Ed- 
ward Fitzgerald would be now alive, and Tom Reynolds 
would have been only known as a harmless monster." 

Cox, as a United Irishman, and one of Lord Ed- 
ward Fitzgerald's bodyguard, was cognisant of the 
various conflicting suspicions and surmises to which 
the arrest of their chief gave birth. Further, he was 

* "So one was better acquainted than Cox with the antecedents 
of Higgins. Vidt alBO the Irish Magazine for October 1810, p. 


in tne secrets of the Government subsequent to 1798. 
Arthur O'Connor has said, that while a chance of suc- 
cess awaited the rebel movement, it possessed no 
more staunch partisan. But flesh is weak, and we 
find Cox, during thirty-five years that he personated 
the character of an indomitable patriot, in the receipt 
of a secret stipend from the Crown. He played fast 
and loose, sometimes revealing to the Castle the plans 
of the United Irishmen, at other times disclosing to 
the popular party the secrets of the Government and 
of its agents. 

Mr Cox would seem to have formed a shrewd 
opinion in reference to Lord Edward's discovery ; but 
he advances the charge so ambiguously that, unless 
ndth the light afforded by recent revelations, it is not 
tasj to understand his meaning. 

A dark and painful mystery enshrouds the death of 
Oliver Bond. Bond, an opulent merchant, residing 
in Bridge Street, Dublin, possessed, for many years, 
the fullest confidence of the United Irishmen, who, 
so early as 1793, formally addressed him on the 
occasion of his fine and imprisonment. From 1785 
to 1797 we recognise him as an active member of the 
two northern directories of United Irishmen, a body 
largely composed of Presbyterians. At his house in 
Dublin the Leinster directory regularly met, until 
the night of March 12, 1798, when, Thomas Key- 
nolds having betrayed his associates, fifteen delegates 
were arrested, conveyed to Newgate, and sentenceo 
to death. Mr Mark O'Callaghan, in his " Memoir ot 
O'Connell," p. 32, says — " It is asserted on credible 
authority, that the secret dungeons and state prisons 
of '98 were the scenes of murder and assassination. 
Among others, Oliver Bond, a wealthy merchant, was 
generally allowed to have been murdered by a turn- 
key employed for the purpose, although it was at the 
time given out that he died of apoplexy." How far 
Mr O'Callaghan may be correct in this conclusion wo 


know not; but a letter addressed by James Davock 
to Dr" Madden, and printed in the very interesting 
work of the latter, tends to corroborate it : — 

" The evening before Bond's death I saw him in the 
yard of the prison ; he seemed then to be in perfect 
health ; the next morning he was foimd dead in the 
passage outside his cell. It was the general opinion 
that he had been strangled. Bond had a free pardon 
signed at the Oastle at that time, and was to have been 
sent out of the country with the other state prisoners. 
It was necessary for his wife to obtain this pardon, to 
enable her to collect in the debts, for he left about 
thirty thousand pounds behind him ; and his friends 
were afraid of impeding her apphcation, and thought 
it better to allow the common report of his death 
arifiing from apoplexy to pass unnoticed. 

.... " The report in the prison was that he 
had been killed by the under-gaoler, Simpson. . I was 
informed by Mm-phy, there was such an uproar in the 
prison all that night, that Murphy and others barri- 
caded their doors on the inside, afraid of violence. 
The woman who first swore at the inquest that she 
had seen him die in the yard, afterwards, in a quarrel, 
accused Simpson of the murder ; on which he kicked 
her on the back, of which injury she died."* 

It may be added that Mr Davock was for many 
years the intimate friend and close neighbour of OHver 
Bond, who was a remarkably robust man, and not 
more than thirty-five years of age at his death. 

Sentence of death on Bond and the fourteen de- 
legates arrested at his house was commuted on con- 
dition of their signing a compact ; but Bond was by 
far the most formidable man amongst them ; and it 
may have struck some of the unscrupulous under- 
strappers attached to the Irish Government that it 
would be desirable to get him out of the way. To 

* Lives and Times of the United Irishmen, fourth series, second 
edition, p. 164. 

THE INrOEMEKS OF '98. 147 

make an exception in Bond's case by bringing him 
to the scaffold would be impossible. Of some of the 
darker doings which notoriously took place, the higher 
members of the Government were, we have no doubt, 

From the Oastlereagh Papers we find that two 
influential judges. Lords Oarleton and Kilwarden, 
warmly m'ged the execution of Byrne and Bond. 
They were not of opinion that the offer made by 
Byrne and Bond to give information would counter- 
balance the discontent likely to be occasioned by sav- 
ing them from " the punishment due to their crimes." 
Lord Oarleton and his colleague also expatiated on 
the injurious effects such an act of mercy might liavo 
on the administration of criminal justice, by discourag- 
ing jurors hereafter from coming forward to discharge 
an odious duty. The viceroy transmitted a paper to 
the Duke of Portland, dated September 14, 1798, 
from which we gather that " their reasoning did not al- 
together satisfy the Lord-Lieutenant. His Excellency, 
however, felt that he could not do otherwise than 
abide by the opinion of the first law authorities in 
Ireland." Byrne was accordingly executed.* Oliver 
Bond was found dead in his cell. 

The Sham Squire, when a prisoner in Newgate, wt 
learn, made love to his keeper's daughter, "whose 
friends, considering the utility of his talents in their 
sphere in Ufe, consented to her union with the Sham, 
.... and that the gaoler's interest procured Hig- 
gins admission to be a solicitor, in which situation 
his practice ia too notorious to requii-e particular 
statement." f 

Did Francis Higgins, who seems to have enjoyeof 
a thorough inununity from legal pains and penalties, 
and was specially officious in doing the dii-ty work of 

* Hemoire and Correspondence of Lord Oastlereagh, yol. i., pp 
f Sketches of Irish Folilica^ CharacterB. Lond. 1799, p. 182. 


unscrupulous statesmen, take upon himself to sug- 
gest to his friend, the keeper, the expediency of 
getting rid of Oliver Bond ? The Sham Squire was 
too astute to do the deed himself ; but he or his 
myrmidons may have got it done, and then with com- 
placency mused, " Shake not thy gory locks at me, 
thou canst no+ «ay / did it." 

To return to Cox. It would appear that, accord- 
ing to his information on the subject, Higgins took 
some part in persuading Thomas Keynolds to become 
a spy upon his colleagues in the Irish Executive 
Directory. It is at least certain that William Cope, 
an eminent merchant,* who certified to the general 
credibility of Keynolds on the trials, and had exerted 
considerable influence in leading him to turn informer, 
was openly recommended for a pension by Higgins in 
his paper of September 1, 1798. The influential re- 
commendation of the Sham Squire proved, as usual, 
successful. Mr Cope received a pension of one thou- 
sand pounds a year, which after his death was con- 
tinued to his daughters, who resided, until the last 
few years, at Khos Y Guir, near Holyhead. 

Among the inducements held out by William Cope 
in urging Keynolds to inform were, that the Crown 
would probably prove their appreciation by giving 
him two thousand pounds a year and a seat in Par- 
lament, f Reynolds, who held the rank of colonel 

* See Sir William Cope's letter in the Appendix. It is right to 
<idd that no letters from Higgins exist among the late Mr Cope's 

t CarrioVs Mommg Post, April 3, 1823, quotes the following 
paragraph from the Examiner, then edited by Leigh Hunt ; — 

" Mk Ebtnolds. — A correspondent at Paris informs us, that the Mr 
iteynolds now in that capital, inquired about some time back in our 
paper, is really the person who played such a conspicuous part in 
Ireland, and who for his meritorious services on that occasion was 
rewarded by an appointment at Lisbon, after which he was placed 
as Consul-General at Copenhagen — from whence, about three years 
since, he proceeded to Paris, where he keeps his carriage, and is re- 
ported to live expensively. Our correspondent says, th«it Mr Rey- 
nold's family appear on Sundays at ih» chapel of the English Ki»- 

TUB iNFOhMEES OF *y8, 14a 

and delegate from the province of Leinster in the 
rebel army, settled his terms, writes Mr Ourran, 
" namely, 500 guineas in hand, and personal indem- 

One by one he prosecuted his colleagues to con- 
viction. In contradiction to Mr Cope's evidence, wit- 
nesses swore that they believed Keynolds unworthy 
of credence on oath. Ourran lashed and lacerated 

" He measures his value by the coffins of his victims ; 
and in the field of evidence appreciates his fame, as the 
Indian warrior does in fight, by the number of scalps with 
which he can swell his triumphs. He calls upon you by 
the solemn league pf eternal justice to accredit the purity 
of a conscience washed in its own atrocities. He has pro- 
mised and betrayed — he has sworn and forsworn ; and 
whether his soul shall go to heaven or to hell, he seems 
altogether indifferent, for he tells you that he has estab- 
lished an interest in both. He has told you that he has 
pledged himself to treason and to allegiance, and that both 
oaths has he contemned and broken." t 

Mr Ourran imagines that the reward of Keynolds 
did not exceed five hundred guineas. The " Life of 
Eeynolds," by his son, would fain persuade the reader 
that his emolument had been still smaller. The MS. 
book of secret service money expenditure, now in the 
possession of Mr Halliday, and printed by Dr Madden, 
reveals, however, that Keynolds received, not only in 
1798, £5000 in four payments, but in the following 
year a pension of £1000 a year, besides which he long 
enjoyed several lucrative offices under the Crown. 

basay in seats reserved for them close by the ambassador and Lad; 
Elizabeth; and that at his parties Lady Douglas, (of Blackheath 
notoriety,) Mrs and the Miss Eeynolds, &;c., form a portion of that 
company for the entertainment of whom the ambassador's salary h 
Bvfelled out to £14,000 a year." 

* Life of Curran, by his son. First edition, vol. ii,, p. 128. 

+ Ibid., vol. ii.. p. 1S4. 


The total amount of money flung to satisfy his in- 
satiahle cupidity was ahout £45,740. * 

The delivery of " a live lord" into the jaws of death 
proved so profitable a job to Francis Higgms, that 
we find him soon after in hot scent after another. 
John, Earl of Wycombe, afterwards Marquis of Lans- 
downe, was committed more or less to the fashionable 
treasons of the time : he sympathised with the men 
and the movement of '98 ; and as the late John Patten, 
a near connexion of Emmet's, assured us, his lordship 
was fully cognisant of the plot of 1803. Had Hig- 
gins been alive during the latter year, Lord Wycombe 
might not have escaped the penalty of his patriotism 
His movements in Dublin and elsewhere were watched 
most narrowly by the Sham Squire. In despair, how- 
ever, of being able to gain access to Lord Wycombe's 
confidence or society, we find Higgins saying, " Lord 
Wycombe, son to the Marquis of Lansdowne, is stUl 
in Dublin. He has gone to Wales and back again to 
Dublin several times. His lordship has given many 
parties in the city, it is said, hut they have been of a 
close, select kind."t 

Higgins and his confederates, like " setters," pointed, 
and the scarlet sportsmen of the line immediately fired. 
Lord Holland, in his Memoirs of the Whig Party, 
mentions that his friend, Lord Wycombe, was fired 
at by common soldiers on the highways near Dublin, 
and narrowly escaped with his life. % 

* Lives and Times of the United Irishmen, by R. R. Madden, 
M.D. Vol. i., p. 425, et seq. 

+ Freeman's Journal, August 6, 1798. His lordship's movementa 
are further indicated by the aame journal on August 9 1800. 

X See p. 107, ante. 

tm iNi'OKMEKs OF -ys. iBl 


Effort of Conscience to Vindicate its Authority. — Last Will and 
Testament of the Sham Squire. — ^A Tempest Roars Kound bis 
Death-bed.— Kilbarrack Churchyard. — A Touching Epitaph — 
Resurrectionists. — The Dead Watcher. — The Sham Squire's 
Tomb Insulted and Broken. — His Bequests. 

Charity, it is written, covereth a multitude of sins. 
Let us hasten, therefore, to record a really meritorious 
act on the part of Mr Higgins. Anxious to throw the 
utmost amount of light on a career so extraordinaiy 
as that of Francis Higgins, we examined in the Pre- 
rogative Court his ' ' Last WiU and Testament." From 
this document — which, by the way, was the subject of 
considerable Ktigation after his death — ^we learn that 
the Sham Squire's conscience was not hopelessly cal- 
lous. On the contrary, while yet comparatively young, 
it seems to have given him a good deal of uneasiness ; 
and it may not unreasonably be inferred that, un- 
scrupulous as we have seen Mr Higgins, his early life 
wasxheckered by sundry peccadilloes now irrevocably 
veiled. Whatever these may have been, they contii- 
buted to disturb the serenity of his manhood, and 
conscience seems to have made an energetic effort to 
assert its authority. Unable any longer to bear the 
reproacliings of his ill-gotten wealth, Mr Higgins, on 
September 19, 1791, then aged forty-five, mustered 
ap courage and bequeathed a considerable portion of 
it to charitable purposes. It is amusing to trace the 
feelings of awe which, in the last century, filled our 
ancestors previous to attempting a voyage across 
St George's Channel I Mr Higgins's will begins by 
saying that as he meditates a voyage to England, he 
thinks it prudent to prepare His will; and in humble 

152 THE SHaM SyaiKE AND 

supplication at the feet of the Almighty, and by way 
of making atonement for his manifold transgressions, 
he is desirous of leaving large sums of money to 
charitable purposes. But before he proceeds "to 
specify them, the vanity of the Sham Squire shows 
itself in a command to his executors to commemorate 
his memory in a proper manner, on a slab " well 
secured with hme, brickwork, and stone," in Kil- 
barrack Churchyard. To defray the cost of this 
monument, Mr Higgins left £30, and a further sum 
for his funeral. He adds, that in case he should die 
in England, his remains are to be removed to Ireland 
and " publicly interred." To a lady who had been of 
considerable use to Mr Higgins, and had clung to 
him with great fidelity, but who had suffered seriously 
from this circumstance, he bequeathed not only £1000 
as compensation, but all such property as might re- 
main after paying the other bequests ; and to his 
housekeeper, Mrs Margaret Box, he left £100. But, 
perhaps, the most remai-kable item in the wiU is 
£1000 which he bequeathed to be laid out on landed 
security, in order that the annual interest might be 
applied to the relief and discharge of debtors confined 
in the city marshalsea on Christmas eve in each 
year.* This generous bequest has served, we trust, 
to blot out some of the Sham Squire's achievements, 
not alone at the hazard table, but by means of sundry 
pettifogging quibbles and doubles. To an asylum 
for ruined merchants, known as Simpson's Hospital, 
he bequeathed £50; and to Peter Kelly and his 
son — who were kinsmen of Colonel O'Kelly — 
£400. He bequeathed to the "Lying-in Hospi- 
tal," £100, or "so much as my executors shall 
find sufficient to erect a bed in my name in one 
of the wards." To the Blue Coat Hospital, 

* See Appendix for some correspondence on the alleged non- 
exeoution of this bequest. The four Courts Marshalsea of Dublin, 
proTious to its removal westward, stood in Werburgh Street. 


where his friend Jack Giffard* and other kindred 
spu-its passed their youth, Mr Higgins left the sum of 
£20. The Catholic and Protestant Poor Schools 
were rememhered with impartiality by Higgins, who 
had been himself both a Catholic and a Protestant 
at different times. He bequeathed £10 to each 
of the Protestant Schools, as well as a like dona- 
tion to the Catholic Charity Schools. To Mr. 
(afterwards Colonel O'Kelly, of Piccadilly, London, 
the owner of the celebrated race-hovse "Eclipse") 
£300 was left, " and if I did not know that he was 
very affluent," adds Higgins, " I would leave him the 
entire of my property." Father Arthur O'Leary, one 
of Curran's " Monks of the Screw," was also advan- 
tageously remembered by Mr Higgins.t To that 
accompUshed ecclesiastic he bequeathed the sum of 
£100; but O'Leary never lived to enjoy it, and passed 
into eternity almost simultaneously with the Sham 
Squii-e, in January 1802. To George J. Browne, 
assistant editor, £50 was bequeathed, in order to 
purchase momning for Mr Higgins, as also certain 
securities held by Higgins for money lent to Browne. 
Several other bequests in the same shape and 
under similar circumstances are made. Six per- 
sons named Tracy are advantageously considered ; } 
and £50 is left to George Faulkner. William 

* For a notice of Giffard, see the 32d note to General Cockburn'i 
ttep Ladder, Appendix. 

■)■ Mr Grattan, in the Life of his father, (ii. 1&8,) mentions that 
O'Leary was very intimate with Colonel O'Kelly, and lived with 
him. O'Leary had a pension from the Crown for writing down 
the White Boys. Mr Grattan adds, on the authority of Colonel 
O'Kelly, that Mr Pitt offered O'Leary considerable remuneration if 
he would write in support of the Union, but the friar refused. 

$ In the third volume of the Comwallis Correspondence, one of 
the name is found obtaining a pension of £300 a year at the same 
time that Francis Higgins's services received similar recognition. 
A Christian name borne by the junior recipient is stated in the same 
work to have been " Grenville ;" he was probably bom during the 
riceroyalty of George (TremiiUe, Lord Buckingham, of whom IJiggiiu 
vas a parasite and a slave, Saa u. 66. ante. &c. 


James, and Christopher Teeling,* are named execu- 
tors ; but it appears, from the records of the Probate 
Court, that they declined to act. In those days there 
was no stamp duty; and the sum for which Higgins's 
residuary legatee administered does not appear. The 
win was witnessed by George Faulkner. 

In September 1791, Mr Higgins declares that he 
has £7000 in Finlay's bank ; " but my property," he 
adds, " will, I believe, much exceed tlus sum when 
all is estimated." Mr Higgins having lived for eleven 
years subsequent to the date of liis will, during which 
time he laboured with fiercer zeal, and reaped even 
richer remuneration than before, it- may be inferred 
that his property in 1802 was not fai- short of 

Little further remains to bo told regarding the 
Sham Squire. In 1799 we catch a parting glimpse 
of him in a work descriptive of the actors in the 
Union struggle. " From his law practice, his gaming- 
table contributions, and newspaper," says this work, 
" the Sham now enjoys an income that supports a 
fine house in a fashionable quarter of a great city, 
whence he looks down with contempt on the poverty 
of many persons, whose shoes he formerly cleaned." f 

Mr Higgins did not long live to enjoy the price 
of poor Lord Edward's blood. On the night of 
January 19, 1802, he died suddenly at his house 
m Stephen's Green, aged fifty-six. " It is as awfid a 
storm as the night the Sham Squire died," was a phrase 
in the mouths of many old persons while the calami- 
tous hurricane of 1839 swept Dublin. Wo arc in- 
formed by Dr. Joly that his grandfather took his 
children to the window on the night of the 19th of 
.January, 1802, to view the extraordinarily grand 

* Christopher Teeling was the physician who attended him in 
t Sketches of Irish Political Characters, p. 148. 


tonvulsion of the elements which raged. Dense 
black clouds rushed across the lurid sky, like the 
charge of the Black Brunswickers at Waterloo, while 
piteous meanings of the night wind filled the air: and 
it has always been a tradition in the family that the 
sight derived additional solemnity from the fact of 
its association with the last agony and death of the 
Sham Squire. 

To the lonely graveyard of Kilbarrack he be- 
queathed his body. A more picturesque spot, 

" Where erring man might hope to rest," 

it would be hard to select. Situated at the edge ot 
the proverbially beautiful bay of Dublin, the ruins of 
Kilbarrack, or, as they are anciently styled, " the 
Abbey of Mone," have long existed as a monument 
of that primitive piety which prompted the Irish 
mariners of the fourteenth century to erect a chapel 
in honour of St Mary Star of the Sea, wherein to 
sffer up an orison for their messmates, who had 
jierished beneath the waves.* 

In accordance with Mr Higgins's expressed wishes, 
a large tabular tomb was erected over his remains in 
1804. Beside it repose the ashes of Margaret Law- 
less, mother of the patriot peer Cloncurry, and near 
it lies the modest grave of John Sweetman, a leading 
*' United Irishman," from whose house adjacent 
Hamilton Kowan escaped — crossed in an open boat 
from Kilbarrack to the Bay of Biscay, where it 
passed through the British fleet — and although 
£1000 lay on his head, was safely landed in France 
by the faithful fishermen of Baldoyle, who were well 
aware of his identity. But the Sham Squire's ambi- 
tious-looking tomb is the monarch of that lonely 

* Au iutereating notice of Kilbarrack appeals in Mr D' Alton's 
History of the County Dublin, pp. 118-118, but he does not sug- 
gest the origin of its name, i.e., Kill Berach, or the Church of St 
Beracb, a disciple of St Kevin. 

156 THE SHAM SQtrt&E ANt) 

graveyard, and it is impossible to pass without one's 
attention being arrested by it. It records that " the 
legal representatives of the deceased deem it but just 
to his memory here to inscribe, that he has left be- 
^[uests behind him, a memento of philanthropy, liber- 
ftlity, and benevolence to the poor and distressed, 
more durable than can sculptured marble perpetuate, 
ts it will last for ever, and be exemplar to all those 
to whom Heaven has intrusted affluence." [Here 
the chief bequests are enumerated in detail.] 
" Header," adds the epitaph, "you will judge of 
the head and heart which dictated such distinguished 
charity to his fellow-creatures, liberal as it is impar- 
tial, and acknowledge that he possessed the true 
benevolence which Heaven ordains, and never fails 
everlastingly to reward." 

This epitaph suggests a curious comment on the 
question asked by a child after spelling the inscrip- 
tions in a churchyard, " Mamma, where are the bad 
men buried ? " 

The lonely and desolate aspect of the hallowed 
ruin which Higgins chose as his last resting-place, 
contrasts curiously with the turbulence of his guilty 
life ; and Old Mortality could not select a more fit- 
ting sight for the moralising ruminations in which 
he loved to' indulge. 

Francis Higgins was wise in his generation, and 
astutely kept his own counsel. Some of his sins we 
have told, but the bulk are probably known only to the 
Searcher of hearts. Of the guilty secrets which were 
buried in Higgins's heart, how many have found a 
vent in the rank heartsease and henbane, which 
spring from his grave. " Where," writes Nathaniel 
Hawthorne, describing a dialogue between a doctor 
\nd his patient, " where did you gather these herbs 
.vith such a dark flabby leaf ? " " Even in the grave- 
yard," answered the physician; "they grew out of 
his heart, and typify some hideous secret that was 


buried with him, and which he had done better to 
eonfess during his lifetime." 

" Perchance he earnestly desired it, but could not." 

" And wherefore," rejoined the physician, " where- 
fore not, since all the powers of nature call so ear- 
nestly for the confession of sin, that these black weeds 
have sprung up out of a buried heart, to make mani- 
fest an unspoken crime ? " 

But why speculate upon it? It is not certain, 
after aU, that the storied urn of the Sham Squire 
really enshrines his ashes. The deserted position of 
Kilbarrack graveyard rendered it, some years ago, a 
favourite haunt with those who, under the nickname 
of " sack-'em-ups," effected premature resurrections 
for anatomical piu-poses ; * and possibly the heart of 
Higgins may have been long since the subject of a 
lecture on aneurism of the aorta, t 

Thi'ough life he was the subject of popular execra- 
tion, and in death this enmity pursued him. An 

* The Irish, Penny Magazine for January 20, 1833, contains a 
picture of Kilbarrack churchyard undergoing spoliation at the 
hands of medical students, who have succeeded, meanwhile, in slip- 
ping a sack oyer the head of "the dead watcher." The latter is 
made to tell a long story descriptive of his feelings previour and 
subsequent to this dmaaemeM : — 

" One time I would picthur to myself the waves apprr..iching like 
an army a-horsehack, and shaking their white tops for feathers; 
and then I would fancy I saw the dead people starting up out of 
cheir graves, and rusIuDg down helthur skelthur to purtect their 
resting-place, shouldering human bones for fire-arms — ^they grabbed 
thigh-bones, and arm-bones, and all the bones they could cotch up 
in their hurry, and when they would make ready— present — back 
the waves id gallop nimble enough, but it was to wheel about agin 
with more fury and nearer to the inemy, who in their turn would 
scamper back agin with long strides, their white sheets flying be- 
hind 'em, like the cullegion chaps of a windy Sunday, and grinning 
frightfully through the holes which wanst were eyes. Another 
time I would look across to Howth as it m like a black joint be- 
tune me and the sky; and I would think if the dfvU that is 
chained down below there at full length in a cavern near the light- 
bouse was to break loose, what a purty pickle I 'd be in." 

t It has been remarked by Dr Mapother and other physiologists, 
(hat aneurism of the aorta is peculiarly liable to overtake the de- 
signing, selfish, and wrangli' v>ibitL>\M man. It kills suddenly. 


alderman of the old corporation, who resided at Howtb, 
declared, in 1820, that in riding into Dublin he could 
never pass Kilbarrack without dismounting from his 
horse for the purpose of ridiculing and insulting the 
Sham Squii-e's grave. The loathing in which Hig- 
gins had been held wreaked its vengeance in more 
formidable demonstrations. Many years ago some 
persons unknown visited his tomb, and smashed off 
the part on which the words, " Sacred to the memory 
of Francis Higgins," were inscribed. The thickness 
of the slab is considerable, and nothing short of a 
ponderous sledge-hammer could have effected this 
destruction. The same eccentric individual who, in 
the dead of night, wellnigh succeeded in depriving 
an obnoxious statue of its head,* is likely to have 
been cognisant of the malign joke played on the 
Sham's mausoleum. No one better knew the depth 
of his rascality than Watty Cox, who, in the Irish 
Magazine, makes reference to both his turpitude f 
and tomb. Of the latter we read, that in " Kil- 
barrack churchyard the remains of the Sham are 
deposited under a magnificent tomb and splendid 
inscription, unequalled in the history of sepulchral 
literature." J 

Nearly two generations passed away, and unless 
by a few families, all memory of the Sham Squire 
became obliterated. Tourists visited Kilbarrack ; 
and disciples of Doctor Syntax, moved by the touch- 
ing epitaph and the romantic scenery around, per- 
chance di'opped a tear upon the stone. Pedestrians 
made it a halting-point and resting-place; the less 
matter-of-fact mused on Erin's days of old 

" Ere her faithless sons betray 'd her," 

cleared th* moss out of the inscriptions, and prayed 

* The statue of William III. in College Green. 
+ See Iri»k Magazine for October 1810, p. 436, &o, 
« Irish Magazina for November lft13 

. THE INFORMEKS OF '98. 159 

for the nameless patriot and philanthropist who 
mouldered below.* AU remembrance of his life had 
died out, although a tradition of his sobriquet still 
floated about the locality; and by degrees the history 
of Higgins degenerated into "the beautiful legend 
of the Sham Squire ;"t which at last was cruelly 
disturbed by the publication of the Cornwallis cor- 
respondence, the researches of the present writer, and 
some patriotic scribe who, since our first disclosures 

* Ou September 15, 1853, a gentleman pubiished a letter in the 
Freeman, requesting to know, not only the name of the person on 
whom so eulogistic an epitaph had been written, but the fate of the 
trust-money named in it. " It is gross ingratitude," he added, 
" and practical materialism, to allow the tomb and memoiy of such 
. a philanthropist to perish for want of a suitable monument to mark 
his last resting-place ; and I should only hope that, among so many 
benefited, one, at least, may be found to turn to the grave of their 
eommon benefsictor." A letter in reply went on to say "This will 
hardly satisfy your correspondent in regard to the trust bequest for 
poor debtors, or offer any apology or explanation of why the tomb 
of such a charitable testator should be left so totally neglected and 
defaced by the highway." Twelve years later found another Jona- 
than Oldbuck poking among the stones of Kilbarrack, and address- 
ing a similar query to the Irish Times. The subj&ct excited con- 
siderable sensation, and became invested with almost romantic in- 
terest. Several leaders, as well as letters, appeared. "Kilbarrack," 
wrote the editor, " is as lonely and desolate a ruin as ever an artist 
painted. A stray goat or sheep may be seen browsing upon Uie 
old graves, half covered with drifted sand ; or a flock of sand-larks 
sweeps through the wide and broken arches. Bound the forsaken 
tombs grow in abundance heartsease, veronica, and the white hare- 
bell. There are pretty mosses on the gray walls ; but the aspect 
of the ruins oppresses the heart with a sense of melancholy loneli- 
ness. Sometimes, when the storm blows inshore, the waves dash 
in spray over the ruined walls, and weep salt tears over the tombs." 

" An Humble Debtor," dating from the Four Courts Marshalsea, 
and citing as his text, " I was in prison, and ye visited me not," 
(Matt. XXV. 43, 44,) went on to tey, " Tour journal for the last few 
days has given great consolation to the inmates of this prison, by 
its insertion of letters bearing on the hitherto almost unknown 
Benefactions of Francis Higgins, of good memory," 

The gentleman thus addressed was of opinion that the money, ii 
invested in land, ought to yield now, at least, ;CfiO per annum. 

t " The legend of tfa^ Sham Squire," full of romance, and bear- 
ing no resemblance to the authentic details which we have gathered, 
appeared in 1856 in a aerial published by Mr Chamney. 


on this subject, has inscribed across the imposing 
epitaph, surmounted by a picture of a pike and a 
sallows — 

"here lies the monster 








This book has always possessed peculiar interest foi 
historic students of the period to whicb it refers ; and 
several communications have appeared from time to time 
in Notes and Queries touching it. In reply to an inquiry,* 
the late Eight Hon. J. Wilson Croker promised to con- 
tribute particulars as to the writers of "Baratariana,"t but 
failed to do so, although he lived for several years subse- 
quently.} "That promise not having been fulfilled," ob- 
served a ■writer, " permit me to ask from some of your Irish 
correspondents materials for a history of this very curious 
volume ;"§ and Abhba expressed a hope that "MrFitz- 
patrick would be induced to furnish us with a key to the 
characters which figure in the book."|| In accordance with 
these suggestions, we gathered from a variety of sound 
sources, well authenticated, though perhaps not important 

Sir Hercules Langi-ishe, Mr Qrattan, (then a young bar- 
rister not in Parliament,) and Mr Flood, were, according 
to the "Memoirs of Flood," (p. 79,) the principal writers 
of " Baratariana." In " Grattan's Life" (voL i, p. 185) 
there is an account of a visit to Sir Hercules in 1810 ; and 
the octogenarian is found repeating with enthusiasm some 
of his flash passages in " Baratariana." The contributions 
of Sir Hercules to this bundle of political pasquinades 
>ire noticed in, Grattan's elegy ob the death of the patriot 
baronet, (p,de vol. i., p. 188.) The late Hon. Major StAo 

* Mrst Series, vol. x., p. 186. t Ibid., vol. x., p. 35?. 

X Ibid. % Second Series, vol. viii., p 52. || Ibid., p. 139, 

1(54 A-PPENDiX. 

hope informed us that Mr St George, a connexion of his, 
held the very voluminous papers of Sir H. Langrishe, and 
not the present baronet. They threw, he said, great light 
p. the political history of the time, and he promised to 
give us access to them if desired. The articles written by 
Grattan were, aa his son informs us, (vol. L, p. 185,) — 
" Posthumous," " Pericles," and the dedication of " Bara- 
tariana." He read them to his friends, and they were 
struck by his description of Lord Chatham. Gilbert's 
"Dublin" (vol. i., p. 294) tells us, what the "Life of 
Flood" does not, that the articles signed " Syndercombe" 
were from Flood's pen. The volume of " Public Charac- 
ters for 1806," in noticing William Doyle, KC, and Mas- 
ter in Chancery, remarks (p. 64) that he was " universally 
admired for lus brilliant wit," and that "he contributed 
largely to ' Baratariana.' " 

To the second edition of the book, published in 1773, 
there is appended the following so-called key; but the 
difficulty is to recognise, at this distance of time, the namef 
which have been initialed, and to supply them : — 

1. Saneho, Lord T d. 

2. Qoreannelli, Lord A y. 

3. Don Francisco Andiea del ) r>. tt i;i a 

Bumperoso } ^*- ^°°- ^ ' ^ '• 

4. Don Georgio Buticarny, , . Sir Q e M y. 

5. Don Antonio, Bt. Hon. A y M e. 

6. Don John Alnagero, . . . Rt. Hon. J — n H y H n. 

7. Don Pliilip, Rt. Hon. P p T 1. 

8. Count Loftonso, . . . . L. L s, now E. of E y. 

9. Don John, Rt. Hon. J n P y. 

10. Don Helena, R 1 H n, Esq. 

11. Donna Dorothea del Mon- I yr. y, 

roao, ,.,,,.. I 

12. Don Qodfredo Lily, . . . G y L ^11, Esq. 

13. The Duke Fitzroyola, . . Duke ol G ii. 

14. Cardinal Lapidaro, , . , The late Prim. S e. 

15. The Bishop of Toledo. . . j^' ^ —^ ° ^' '^'^ ^'^'^"^ 

16. Don Edwardo Swanzero, . E d S ^n, Esq. 

17. Don Alezandro Cunlngambo ) » <-< 

delTweedalero, f. . j Surgeon C—^m. 

18. Donna Lavinia, Lady St L r. 

19. Don Ricardo B d P r, Esq. 

The first named is George Viscount Townshend, who- 

bakatariana. 165 

became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, October 14, 1767, ana 
continued in the Government, until succeeded by Simon, 
Earl of Harcourt, Nov. 30, 1772. 

2. Lord Annaly, Lord Chief-Juatice of the King's Bench 
in Ireland. As John Gore he represented Jamestown in 
Parliament for several years ; d. April 3, 1783. A notice 
of Lord Annaly may be found in the Annual Register /of 
1784, p. 220. 

3. The Right Hon. Francis Andrews. He succeeded Di 
Baldwin as Provost of Trinity Collegs, Dublin, in 1758, 
Andrews had previously represented Dublin in Parliament- 
d. 1774.* 

4. Sir George Macartney, Knight,+ b 1737 ; Envoy 
Extraordinary to the Empress of Eussia, 1764, and Pleni- 
potentiary, 1767; knighted, October 1764. In July 1768, 
he was elected for the burgh of Armagh. In 1769 he 
became secretary to Lord Townshend, Viceroy of Ireland. 
In 1776 Sir George Macartney was raised to the peerage. 
He married the daughter of Lord Bute — hence the nick- 
name Buticamy. 

5. The Bight Hon. Anthony Malone. For upwards of 
half a century an ornament to the Irish Bar ; d. May 8, 
1776. For a long account of him see Hardy's " Life of 
Gharlemont," (vol. i., pp. 133-9;) Taylor's "Hist, of the 
Univer. of Dublin," (pp. 395-6;) and Grattan's "Memoirs," 

6. Eight Hon. John Hely Hutchinson. In the "Direc- 
tory" of the day he is styled " Prime Serjeant and Alnager of 
Ireland, Kildare St." He subsequently became Secretary 
of State and Keeper of the Privy Seal. For a long ac- 
count of Hutchinson, see Hardy's " Charlemont/' (i., 141 ; 
ii., 185.) Having obtained a peerage for his wife, he be- 
came ancestor of the Lords Donoughmore.§ HutchinsoD 
died Sept. 10, 1793. 

* Taylor's Hist, of the Univer. of Dublin, pp. 251-2 ; Wilson's 
Dublin Direc, (1770,) p. 41. 

t Vide List of Privy Councillors, Dublin Direc, (1770,) p. 41. 

J In Wilson's Directory for 1770, Malone is styled " King's First 
Counsel at Law, Sackville Street." 

§ Burke's Peerage, (1848,) p. 315. For an account of his regime 
as Provost of Trin. Coll. , see Taylor's Hist, of the Univer, of Dut 
Un, p. 263. 

16 R AJl'ENDlx. 

7. Right Hon. Philip Tisdall, P.O., Attorney-QeneraL 
He represeated the University of Dublin in Parliament 
from 1739 until his death in 1777. For a full account 
iud character of Tisdall, see Hardy's " Charlemont," (L, 
152-6.) In the Directory of 1770 he is styled "Prin. 
Becre. of State, and Judge of the Prerogative Courts 
Leinster Street." 

8. The Hon. Henry Loftus succeeded his nephew 
Nicholas as fourth Viscount Loftus;* b. November 11, 
1709 ; advanced to the earldom of Ely, December 5, 

9. Right Hon. John Ponsonby, son of Lord Bessborongh, 
Speaker of the Irish House of Commons; b. 1713 j d. Dec. 
12, 1789.t 

10. "Robert Hellen, K.C., and Counsel to the Commis- 
sioners, Great Cuffe Street ; called to the bar Hilary 
Term, 1765." § On May 4, 1778, he became Chief-Justice 
of the Common Pleas ;|| d. July 23, 1792. IT 

11. A Miss Munro was said to have been mixed up with 
soine of the political intrigues which characterised the 
Townshend and other administrations. " Dolly Monro " is 
traditionally described as a woman of surpassing beauty 
and powers of fascination. She was quite a Duchess of 
Gordon in the political circles of her time. 

12. "Godfrey Lill, Esq., Solicitor-General, Merrion 

Square, M , 1743." ** On Dec. 15, 1774, he became 

Justice of the Common Died Sept. 24, 

13. Augustus Henry, third Duke of Grafton, b. 1735, 
filled the offices of Secretary of State and First Lord of 

* His ancestor, A. Loft-House, accompanied Lord Sussex to Ire- 
land. Various family links subsequently united the Loftuses to the 
house of Tovmshmd. General Loftus married, 1790, Lady E. 
Tonmshend, only daughter of Marquie Townshend. Her daughter 
Charlotte married Lord Vere Townshend, 

t Burke's Peerage, p. 371, (1848.) 

X Ibid., p. 93 ; Hardy's Charlemont, L, pp. 18i, 201, 293. 

§ Wilson's Dublin Directories. 

II Smyth's Law Officers of Ireland, p. 251. 

% Oent. Mag., 1793, p. 769. 

•* Wilson's Dublin Directories. 

tt Smyth's Law Officers of Ireland, p. 253, 

^X Annual Register for 1783, p. 839, 


the Treasury in 1765 and 17G6, and t.hat of Lord Privy 
Seal in 1771. 

14. Primate Stone. He was the great political rival of 
Lord Shannon. Death closed the eyes of both within 
nine days of each other, in Deo. 1764.* 

15. Dr Jemmet Browne, consecrated Bishop of Cork, 
1743 ; promoted to Elphin, 1772. + 

16. Edward B. Swan, Esq., Surveyor-General of the 
Revenue. J He was the father of the famous Major Swan, 
who arrested the thirteen delegates of the United Irish 
men at Oliver Bond's in 1798, (Plowden's " Hist. Ireland," 
ii. 424,) and who afterwards assisted in the capture of 
Lord Edward Fitzgerald. (!) [" Castlereagh Correspond- 

Sice," vol. i., 463.] 

17. "Surgeon Alexander Cunningham, Eustace Street," 
figures in the list of surgeons at p. 98 of Wilson's Dublin 
Directory for 1770. 

18. Lady St. Leger. R. St Leger (nephew of Hughe} 
Viscount Doneraile, whose title became, extinct in 1767) 
represented Doneraile from 1749 to 1776, when his Ma- 
jesty pleased to create him Baron Doneraile as a reward 
for parliamentary services. He married Miss Mary Barry. 
She died March 3, 1778.§ This is probably the party 
referred to. 

19. Richard Power, K.C. In the Directory of 1774, 
we find him styled " Third Baron of the Exchequer, and 
Usher and Accountant-General of the Court of Chancery, 
Kildare Street, Hilary, 1757." Mr Daunt, in his " Recol- 
lections of O'Connell," (ii. 145,) narrates an extraordinary 
anecdote of O'Connell's in reference to Baron Power, who, 
having faUed to take Lord Chancellor Clare's life with a 
loaded pistol, proceeded to Irishtown to commit suicide 
by drowning. It was remarked as curious that in going 

* Dublin Directory, 1769, p. 42; Hardy's Charlemont, vol. i. 

+ Wilaon's Dublin Direc, J 774, p. 52. 

i Dublin Direc, 1774, [Com. Eev.,] p. 73. The Viceroy, at p. 
228 of Baratariana, is made to speak of " his trusty Mends SwaT. 
and Waller." In the Directory for 1774, " Oeorge Waller, Clerk of 
the Minutes in Kzcise," is mentioned. 

§ ArcUdall's Lodge'i Peerage, vol. v , p. I!j3. 


)fif to drown himself, he used an umbrella as the day was 
Wet. Baron Power was a convicted peculator. 

The Anthologia Hihernica for February 1794, p. 154, 
details the particulars of Baron Power's deatL Besides 
his judicial office, he was usher to the Court of Chancery, 
and large sums were frequently deposited in his hands for 
the security of suitors. The Baron having pocketed £3000 
fn the Chandos suit. Lord Chancellor Clare was appealed 
to, who ordered the Baron to appear in court and answer 
for his conduct. The Judge hesitated, declaring that he 
held a seat on the same bench with the Chancellor in the 
Court of Exchequer Chamber. Lord Clare issued his 
command in a stiU more peremptory tone ; and the tra- 
gedy detailed by Mr O'ConneU was the resvdt. Sir Jonah 
Barrington's elaborately embellished account of this trans- 
action is most inaccurate. He suppresses all allusion to 
the embezzlements — of which, by the way, Barrington 
was himself convicted as a judge* — and merely says that 
Lord Clare teased Power to madness, because the Baron 
was arrogant himself, and never would succumb to the 
arrogance of Fitzgibbon, to whom in law he was superior. 
Both accounts, however, agree in saying that Power was 
immensely rich. 


It did not need the example of the Duke of Eutland to 
make hard drinking the fasluon in Ireland. The anecdote, 
" Had you any assistance in drinking this dozen of wine 1" 
" Yes, I had the assistance of a bottle of brandy," gives an 
idea of the extent to which the practice reached. Few 
songs were sung save those in praise of wine and women. 
Judge Day's brother. Archdeacon Day, wrote a popular 
s,ong called " One Bottle More." But Baron Dawson of 
the Exchequer threw him into the shade, and wrote a 
famous song in eight stanzas, beginning ; — 

" Personal Sketches, vol. i., pp. 467-9, See notice of Barringtop 
furtUfr on. 


" Ye good fellows all, 
Who loTO to be told where there 's claret good Btcre, 
Attend to the call of one who 'a ne'er frighted, 
But greatly delighted with six bottles more ! 

" Be sure you don't pass the good house Monyglaaa, 
Which the jolly red god so peculiarly owns. 
'Twill well suit your humour, 
For pray what would you more, 
Than mirth with good claret and bumpers, Squire Jones f 

Curran sung : — 

" My boys, be chaste till you 're tempted ; 
While sober be wise and discreet ; 
And humble your bodies with fasting. 
Whene'er you 've got nothing to eat." 

" It waa an almost invariable habit at convivial meet- 
ings," observes an informant, " to lock the door lest any 
Iriend should depart. The window was then opened, and the 
key flung into the lawn, where it could not be again found 
without much difficulty. An Irish piper was stationed 
behind the door, where he jerked forth planxty after planxty 
as the toasts progressed. A certain baronet used to knock 
the shanks off each guest's glass, to necessitate draining it 
to the bottom before he could lay it down again. Gallons 
of buttered claret were drunk, -and morning found the 
convivialists lying under the table in heaps of bodily and 
mental imbecility." 

The late Dr Henry Fulton informed us that he heard 
from Mr Dawson, one of the Volunteer Convention of 1782, 
and afterwards Chairman of Armagh, the two following 
anecdotes, illustrative of Irish conviviality in the last 
century : — 

Sir William Johnson and his friend Dawson were invited 
out to dine. Some time after dinner Sir William came to 
him and said: "Dawson, am I very drunk?" "No," 
said the other ; " why so ?" " Because," said the baronet, 
" I can't find the door." It would have been hard for hin^ 
for the host had a mock bookcase which moved on a spring, 
and when required closed up the entrance. After making 
another trial. Sir William gave it up, and quietly resumed 
his seat. Dawson escaped out of a window, got up-stairs 
to a sleeping apartment, and knowing that all the party 


would remain- for tlie night, bolted tte door and barriraded 
it with all the furniture he could remove. Next morning 
he found two of the gentlemen in bed with him, who had 
effected an entrance through a panel of the door. 

No gentleman thought of paying his debts, and the ex- 
tensive house of Aldridge, Adair, and Butler, wine mer- 
chants in Dublin, sent a clerk to Connaught to collect 
^oney due to the firm. The clerk returned, protesting 
that he was half dead with feasting, but could get no money. 
Kobin Adair then personally went down, and arrived at the 
house of his principal debtor just in time for dinner, and 
found a large party assembled. In the course of the 
evening the following was composed and sung : — 
" Welcome to Foxhall, sweet Robin Adair. 

How does Tom Butler do. 

And John Aldridge, too ? 

Why did they not come with you, 

Sweet Robin Adair ? " 

It is almost needless to add that he, too, returned with- 
.)ut the debt. 

To compensate for bad debts, a large margin for profit 
was fixed by the Dublin wine merchants of that day. 

" Claret," writes Barrington, " was at that time about 
£18 the hogshead, if sold for ready rhino ; if on credit, 
the law, before payment, generally mounted it to £200, 
besides bribing the sub-sheriff to make his return, and swear 
that Squire .... had ' neither hody nor goods' It is 
a remarkable fact, that formerly scarce a hogshead of claret 
crossed the bridge of Banagher for a country gentleman, 
without being followed within two years by an attorney, a 
sheriff's officer, and a receiver of all his rents, who generally 
carried back securities for ;E500." In the Irish Quarterly 
Review, vol. ii., p. 331, is quoted a French author's descrip- 
tion of Holybrook, county Wicklow, the seat of Eobin 
Adair, " Si famaux dans nonAre des cJiansons." He was 
probably the head of the wine firm referred to by Dr 
Fulton. Another Adair, equally noted for bacchanalian 
powers, lived at Kilternan. 

" Were I possess'd of all the chink 

That was conquer'd by Cortez, Herein, 
I 'd part with it all for one good drink 
With JohuQ7 Adair of Kilteruau. 


" The soldiers may drink to their Cumberlaud brave, 
7he Bailors may drink to their Vernon, 
Whilst all merry mortals true happiness have 
With Johnny Adair of Kiltenian." 

Owen Bray, of Lougblinstowu, also figures in moro than 
3ne song : — 

" Were ye full of complaints from the crown to the toe, 
A visit to Owen's will cure you of woe ; 
A buck of such spirits ye never did know, 
For let what will happen, they're always in flow ; 
When he touched up Ballen a Mona, oro, 
The joy of that fellow for me." 

Drinking clubs fanned the flame of political agitation 
and sectarian bitterness then so rife. One of these pan- 
demoniums stood in Werburgh Street, where many a man 
with, as a song of the day has it, 

" a goodly estate, 
And would to the Lord it was ten times as great," 

drank himself to delirium, death, and beggary. The spirit 
of the times is shown in one of the club, who, having 
pitched a basin of filthy fluid from the window, which was 
hailed by a shriek below, exclaimed, " If you are a Pro- 
testant, I beg your pardon respectfully ; but if you're a 
Papist (/iic,) take it and bad luck to you ! " * 

The County Kildare was not second to Wicklow or Dub- 
En in convivial indtugz^ice. Some years ago, as we stood 
among the ruins of Clonshambo House, a song commem- 
orative of its former occupant was chanted : — 

" 'Twas past one o'clock when Andrew got up, 
His eyes were as red as a flambeau ; 
Derry down, my brave boys, let us sleep until eve, 
Cried Andrew Fitz-Qerald of Clonshambo." 

The windows of old Clonshambo House looked into :>, 
churchyard, which ought, one would think, to have preached 
a more salutary homily to the convivialists than the event 
seems to have proved. Adjoining it is a crumbling wab 
glassed, and displaying many a sturdy old neck with the 
I'ork still lodged in it. 

The judges of the land, vulgarly regarded as almost in- 
fallible, were no better than their neighbours, and the 
* Tradition communicated by F, T. P , E-sfj. 


phrase, " as soler as a judge," must for a time have fallen 
Luto disuse. Bs,ron Monckton, being often viiio deditiis, as 
we are assured by Barrington, usually described the seg- 
ment of a circle in making his way to the seat of justice. 
Judge Boyd, whose face, we are told, resembled " a scarlet 
pincushion well studded," possessed a similar weakness ; 
and a newspaper, in praising his humanity, said that when 
passing sentence of death, it was observable that " he sel- 
dom failed to have a drop in his eye." Of the first judge 
named it might be said, as of the Geraldines, Ipsis Eibernis 
Ilibemiores, for Baron Monckton was imported from the 
English Bar. 

John Egan, the chairman of Kilmainham, drank hard ; 
and some clients, anxious to secure his professional services, 
made a stipulation with him, that no wine was to be drunk 
previous to the defence. Egan agreed, but casuisticaUy 
evaded the engagement, by eating large quantities of bread 
soaked in wine. 

Hard drinking continued fashionable in Ireland within 
the last forty years. A late eminent polemic habitually 
drank, without ill effects, a dozen glasses of whisky toddy 
at a sitting. Bushe, on being introduced to the late Con. 
Leyne of the Irish Bar, asked " Are you any relation to 
Con of the Hundred Battles?" "This is Con of the 
Hundred Bottles," interposed Lord Plunket. 

A well-known person, named Led ^ge, who lived at 

Bluebell, having met a favourite boon companion, was in- 
duced by him to partake of some refreshment at an inn, 
where he speedily consumed sixteen tumblers of punch. 
He was rising to leave, when the friend suggested that he 
should " make up the twenty." " The parish priest is to 

dine with me," replied Led ge, " and I should not wish 

him to see the sign of liquor on me." 


Magee's lampoons on the Sham Squire's patron, the 
Marquis of Buckingham, were met by retorts in the same 


vein. The chief writer of these retaliative epigrams waa 
Robert Jephson, Master of the Horse at Dublin. Castle, 
Lord Cloncurry, in hia " Personal Recollections," observes, 
— " He lived at the Black Rock, in a house which still re- 
mains, nearly opposite Maretimo, and was, for a consider- 
able period, the salaried poet laureate of the viceregal 
TOurfc. He lost place and pension by an untimely exercis( 
of his wit, when dining one day at my father's house. 
The dinner was given to the Lord-Lieutenant, the Marquis 
of Buckingham, who happened to observe, in an unlucky 
mirror, the reflection of Jephson in the act of mimicking 
himself. He immediately discharged him from the laur- 

Public writers were corrupted without stint during the 
administration of Lord Buckingham. - By far the ablest 
man in Ireland, at that day, was Dr Frederick Jebb, the 
Irish Junius. Under the pseudonym of Guatimozin, he 
published powerful letters in sustainment of his country's 
cause. The viceroy, writing to Lord North, says — "As 
the press was exceedingly violent at that time, and had 
greater effect in inflaming the minds of the people, it was 
reconunended to me as a measure of absolute necessity, by 
some means, if possible, to check its spirit. On this a 
negotiation was opened with Dr Jebb, who was then chief 
of the political writers, and he agreed, upon the terms of 
my recommending him for a pension of £300 a year, to 
give his assistance to Grovemment, and since that time he 
has been very useful, as well by suppressing inflammatory 
publications as by writing and other services, which he 
promises to continue to the extent of his power."* After 
the death of Dr Jebb the pension was continued to his 


By desire of the Publisher and others, we give, un- 
abridged, in this Appendix the songs from which, at pp. 
fiO, 61, we quoted a few stanzas. The following is ex 
* MemoiiB of Qrattan, hj his son, vol. ii., p. 175. 


humed from the dusty file of the Dublin Evening Post of 
April 4, 1789. A tradition ascribes the authorship to 
a gentleman, long and familiarly known in Ireland as 
"Pleasant Ned Lysaght :"— 

TuNB — " The night lefore Larry vjas tlreteUi.' 

PiNDBMONitJM'g dread court was convened by mandates from Beel- 
zebub's see. 

And a horrible gloominess reign'd through the vault at its buv3- 
reign's beck ; 

Ths chiefs were arranged near his throne; each imp took his speci- 
fied station; 

All impatient until it was known whether anything threaten'd the 

Or their friends had relinquish'd their yoke. 

At length the grim despot arose, (perceiving the fears of the 

His infernal intent to disclose ; and thus he began, after greeting :— 

" Chiefs, things of the highest import, well worthy, 1 deem, yoilr 

Have occasion'd this summons to court for holding a weighty con- 

As I always take counsel in need. 

" To you I need hardly avow that my joys spring from mankind's 

And your duiy will urge you, I trow, to assist in a scheme I 've 
been brewing. 

Occasion most apt for my ends having started to try your alle- 

I shall shortly distinguish my friends by the promptitude of theit 
obedience ; 

Then, see that my will be observed. 

* Sweet confusion, if I have success, shall reward every care and 

And the station of Fremie>' shall bless the devil who pruves the 

mo«t clever, 


Then look to your agents on eartb, and cull who may beat b« 

relied on. 
To apian we ourselves will give birth, — do you search out whom 

you can confide in, 

And let them be drawn to our aid." 

Then Beelzebub paused for reply; but their tumult assail'd him 

like thunder, 
Each having some friend in his eya. they near split his tympanums 

Albeit though used to much din, their zeal overleap'd all precedent. 
Till the sov'reign, with horrible grin, loohed to silence the most 


And awed the demoniac crew. 

His Demoathen' gave in black rolls of their pets in our capital city. 
And Beelzebub smiled at long scrolls, when 'twas moved to select a 

He himself named Sbamado as head; others rank'd in their order 

of merit. 
y — ra and ns then led; and Iton to the assembly 

submitted, — 

All these were allow'd good and true. 

" My plan, then, concisely is this : Sliamado must counsel Dick — y, 

his wigeon, 
To ensure — ^hit, miss, — and do you help to forward his pigeon. 
This signal-must set on our crew, who eagerly strain for probation, 
And (honour now bid an adieu) let each urge his black information. 
The rest is committed to fate." 

Hell rung with the loudest applause, and Beelzebub's pride wa» 

inflated ; 
The idea was his — his the cause ; every demon was likewise elated. 
The court then dissolved in a blaze ; each fiend laid his plan of 

And, taking their devious ways, exulted, with hope of succeeding, 
In every inalevolent aim. 

Prom Erebus' depths ro«e each elf, who glow'd with infernal desire ; 
But their prince judged it fit that himi<3l should alone hold confab 
with the Squire. 


Close intimates long tliougb thoy stood, this case call'd for greate» 

And conscience, though purged from all good, might have wanted 

his familiar tpirit; 

For there 'a nothing like aid from a chum. 

lit his elbow the prince straight appear'd, surrounded with sulphur- 
ous vapour, 

Just as Shamado foundation had rear'd of a lie for his infamous 

Mutual greetings soon pass between friends who aie rarely or ever 
asunder ; 

So Beelzebub mention'd the ends of th' assembly as holden just 

And told him the state of the case. 

" 'Tis well," said Shamado. " Gracious sire, your law has been 

always my pleasure ; 
r conceive what your highn^s desires, — 'tis my duty to second the 

The deeper I plunge for your sake, the higher I raise my condition; 
Then who would hia fealty break to a prince who thus feeds his 


And gratifies every desire t 

"Through life I've acknowledged thy aid, and as constantly tasted 

thy bounty, — 
From the Newgate solicitor's trade, till a sub-sheriff placed in the 

Shall I halt in the midst of my sins, or sink fainting and trembling 

before 'em, 
Vlien my honour thick-spreading begins — when, in fine, I am one 

of the quorum. 

And may in the Senate be placed. 

" No, my liege. Since thy favour increase. I am tied by their strong 

obligation ; 
And, as vacant young minister's place, let your faithful engage in 

the station." 
The Bov'reign, well pleased with the hit, sent an imp in his suite 

with a bullet. 
Told his counsel to make out the writ, and Shamado, the justice, 

would fill it) — 

The fittest on earth fur the charge. 


Now the bustle of office began, and the Devil, content with 's ohiet 

Set him loose for the rapine of man, as he acted from motive* 

Like principles run through the group, each eagerly works in hio 

And their prince mast confess such a troop never served him before 

in conjunction, 

4.nd never again may be joiu'd. 

(From, the Dublin Evening Post of May 5, 1789.) 

Oh, de night afore Edgwort was tried, 
De Council dey met in despair, 
Geo Jos — was there ; and beside 
Was a doctor, a lord, and a player.* 
Justice Sham den silence proclaim'd, 
De Bullies dey all of dem harken'd ; 
Poor Edqwokt says he will be framed; 
His daylights perhaps will be darkeu'd. 
Unless we can lend him a hand. 

" Be de hokey ! " says Geo, " I 'm afraid 
I can't get him cut of his trouble ; 
His blinkers I know they will shade. 
If his lordship don't tip him de double. 
To de Castle I 'd have him to go; 
He 's de man dat can do such a job dere. 
And get out de red'-coats you know ; 
And den we can keep off de mob dere. 
Hid peepers derby we can save." 

No sooner he 'd spoke de word whole. 
But de colour edged oif from dere faces. 
Says Eosoiusf " Now splinter your soul. 
I 'd, by s, throw aces ; 

• For a key to these characters, see p. 60. 
+ Richard Daly. (Seepo. 72, 76, 92, 94, &c.) 



Ay, rather be nick'd three times o'er. 
Supposing 'twas on de last stake. 
Den hear you say so any more ; 
'TwaB a lie dat yourself you did mate, 
To go for to frighten de Sham. 

" I 'm sorry such falseness to see 
Of a boy dat was bred in our school; 
You dog, if it was not for he. 

You 'd often gone hungry to . 

And now for a damnable tief 
To go and invent such a lie, 
I put your poor master in pain." 
Away den de Quaek he did fly. 

And de Council bruk up like a shot. 

Says Sham, " He 's a boy of my own. 
By the ties of relation endear'd, — 
A fellow dat 's proof to de bone. 
Nor conscience nor devil e'er fear'd. 
Young Rosoius, I know, will subscribe, 
Becase dey have often play'd hazard ; 
De Sheriff we '11 try for to bribe, 
And not let 'em pelt his poor mazzard. 
To go for to mark it wid shame." 

Says the Quack, " flow blister my limbs. 
But I send him a great deal of pity ; 
What signifies people's nice whims ? 
We know he can swear very pritty. 
In his paper he shall have de daub. 
I '11 tell BncKET de people will bless him. 
If now he will comfort poor Bob, 
When de laws of de laud do distress him ; 

But I 'm told they will tell de whole truth.' 


(P. 106, ante.) 

The connivance of Dempsey, the yeoman, at Lord 
Edward's escape is the more singular, when we remember 
that he belonged to a body which ^s notorious for its im- 
placabDity to suspected persons. The personal narratives 
of Hay, Cloney, Teeling, O'Kelly, the historic r>,searches 


jf Madden, and the traditions of the people, furnish abun- 
dant anecdotes of their brutality. The following reminis- 
cences, communicated to us by the late Mrs Plunkett of 
Frescati — the early residence, by the way, of Lord Edward 
Fitzgerald — as they do not happen to have been printed, 
may be given here. Mrs Plunkett was a Miss Barrington 
of the county Wexford, and belonged to an old and respec- 
table Protestant family. 

Previous to the outburst of the rebellion there was a 
noted bridewell at Geneva, in the county Wexford, wherein 
persons suspected of treasonable tendencies were incar- 
cerated, and from thence removed soon after to some dis- 
tant place of transportation. The betrothed of one young 
woman and the husband of another were cast into this prison. 
The women were permitted to visit the captives ; they 
exchanged clothes, and the men passed out unrecognised. 
When the young women were discovered occupying the cells, 
nothing could exceed the rage of the local yeomanry. They 
assembled a mock court-martial, found the fair conspirators 
guilty of having aided and abetted the escape of traitors, 
and then sentenced them to be tossed naked in a blanket. 
The yeomanry carried their decision into effect. They 
roughly tore the garments from the young women, stripped 
them stark naked, and then prostrated them on the blanket 
which was prepared for their punishment. They were 
tossed unmerciftdly, amidst the brutal laughter of the 
assembled yeomanry. A Scotch regiment present had the 
manly feelmg to turn their backs. The married woman 
was pregnant, and died from the effects of the treatment 
she received. The younger girl, a person of great beauty, 
was seriously injured both in body and mind. Mrs 
Plunkett frequently said, that on the approach of the yeo 
manry, flushed with victory and revenge, Father Bren- 
nan, a near neighbour of hers, fled, leaving a deaf and 
dumb girl in charge of the chapel-house. Mortified at not 
finding the priest, and irritated at the girl's silence, the 
yeomanry cut out her tongue, which had refused to obey 
them, and placing her upon a dunghill, slowly tortured her 
to death ! 

About the same time, and in the same county, thp 
yeomanry, after having sacked the chapel and hunted 'J'.t 


priest, deputed wie of their corps to enter the confessional 
and personate the good pastor. In the course of the day 
some young men on their way to the battle of Oularl^ 
dropped in for absolution. One, who disclosed his inten- 
tion, and craved the personated priest's blessing, was re- 
torted upon with a curse, while the yeoman, losing patience, 
flung off the soutane, revealing beneath his scarlet uniform. 
The youth was shot upon the spot, and his grave is still 
shown at Passage. 

The height to which party rancour ran was disgusting. 
Brunehaut, who condemned her foe to drink out of a mur- 
dered parent's skull, found imitators of her idiosyncracy in 
Ireland. Miss G , the daughter of a Wexford terror- 
ist, directed many of the tortures which were so exten- 
sively practised ; and our informant knew her to stir a 
■^owl of punch with a croppy's finger ! 

Miss G '- was subsequently burnt with yeomen and 

♦thers in the barn at ScuUabogue — an act which hag 
cast indelible stigma on the rebellion in Wexford — and 
her screams were heard long after all others had ceased. 
A female servant of Mrs Barrington's surprised her mis- 
tress, long after the rebellion, by confessing, "It was 1 
went for the lighted turf which set fire to the barn at 

Lord Cornwallis, the more humane viceroy who suc- 
ceeded Lord Camden, notices, in a letter to General Eoss, 
the " ferocity and atrocity" of the yeomen, and that they 
take the lead in rapine and murder. He adds : — 

" The feeble outrages, burnings, and murders which are 
stUl committed by the rebels serve to keep up the sangui- 
nary disposition on our side ; and so long as they furnish 
a pretext for our parties going in quest of them, I see no 
prospect of amendment. 

" The conversation of the principal persons of the country 
all tend to encourage this system of blood ; and the con- 
versation even at my table, where you wiU suppose I do 
all I can to prevent it, always turns on hanging, shooting, 
burning, &c., <fec. ; and if a priest has been put to death, 
the greatest joy is expressed by the whole company. So 
much for Ireland and my wretched situation."* 

* Memoirs and CorreBpondenoe of the Marquis of CornwalKs, 
vol. ii., p. 868. 

MR macready's statement. ]B1 


[After we had received from Mr Macready a verbal 
statement of the facts recited, (p. 113, &c., ante,) he was 
good enough to commit to writing the subjoined further 
details, which graphically illustrate the calamitous period 
of the Rebellion.] 

" Prior to the outburst of the insurrection in 1798, and 
while espionage was active in its pursuit of Lord Edward 
Fitzgerald, stimulated by the reward of £1000 for his 
apprehension, he was stopping in my grandfather's house, 
No. 124 Thomas Street, and passing as my mother's French 
tutor. She was not long home from France, having left it 
in consequence of the Revolution. She was a woman of 
much strength of character, and carried the different let- 
ters between Lord Edward and the other United Irishmen. 
While acting in this capacity, she usually went as a patient 
in Dr Adrien's carriage, with her arm bandaged up, and 
her clothes marked with blood. While Lord Edward was 
at James Moore's, the only person he saw, exclusive of 
Lawless and a few other trusted political friends, was his 
stepfather, Mr Ogilvie, who had been a tutor in the Lein- 

ster family, and the duchess married him Lady 

Fitzgerald never visited him at Moore's, as it was supposed 
every move of hers was closely watched, but my mother 
brought his little daughter to see him. She was a seven 
months' chUd, and was afterwards married to Sir Guy 
Campbell, who was head of the Constabulary of Ireland. 
[Here the anecdote of Tuite, given at p. 110, ante, appears.] 
I had this from my grandfather and Tuite. The former 
promised to buiy Tuite, but he outlived him by many 
years. It was considered unsafe for Lord Edward to re- 
main concealed at our house, and my grandmother went 
down to Magan, a barrister, and friend of hers, who lived 
on Usher's Island, and arranged with him that to-morrow 
evening Lord Edward would go down at seven or eight 
o'clock to his place, and, to avoid being seen entering the 
front door, the stable in Island Street was to be open to 
idmit him. At eight o'clock Mrs Moore and Pat Gallagher, 
a clerk of ours, walked out arm-in-arm, and my mother and 
Lord Edward behind They went along Thomas Street to 


Watling Street, and turned down at the end of Watling 
Street, and just at Island Street, near Magan's stable. 
Major Sirr stopped Lord Edward. My mother screamed 
out to Gallagher, who was a very powerful man. He at 
once upset Major Sirr ; and only the Major had a coat of 
mail on him, his career was ended on that occasion, for 
Gallagher tried his dagger on him. Major Sirr was also 
a powerful man, wielded his dagger, and, althouah under 
Gallagher, contrived to drive it through the caU of his leg. 
Eluding himself wounded, and fearing he would not be 
able to make his escape, and perceiving that he could not 
wound Major Sirr, he made the best of his way off, having 
first knocked the Major down with a box, using the butt 
of the dagger to assist his blow. My mother and Lord 
Edward fled at the first part of the fray, and as Murphy's 
(now Graham and Dunnill's wool-crane) was the nearest 
friend's place, they went into it. Mrs. Moore got home as 
she best could ; of Gallagher I will speak hereafter. The 
accuracy of the carpenter Tuite's information to Moore was 
soon confirmed. The next day my grandfather Moore's 
house was taken possession of. The famous Dr. Gahan, 
the Augustinian fnar, was visiting my mother, and she was 
seeing him to the door when the double knock came. The 
old priest in his humUity stood partly behind the door to 
allow whoever it was to enter. A captain, a sergeant, and 
a large number of soldiers rushed in. They seized the poor 
old priest, and by the queue or pigtail, the then mode of 
wearing the hair, tied him up to a beam ia the wareroom 
off the shop. My mother cut him down. She then re- 
membered that the committee or council of the United 
Irishmen were sitting at a house in James's Gate (the 
one now occupied by Mr. M'Nulty). While the soldiers 
were taking possession and rifling the house, she ran up to 
James's Gate, and informed the parties there that her 
father's house was full of soldiers. The father of the Rev. 
George Canavan, late P. P. of St. James's, had a tan-yard 
outside the house wherein the Directory met. Into this 
yard they descended through a window, and escaped down 
Watling Street. My mother, when returning, met some of 
the soldiers ; one of them recognised her, and said ' There's 
that croppy b — h again,' maldng a drive at her with his 


bayonet, which was screwed to the top of his musket. She 
stooped and escaped, but the bayonet cut her across the 
shoulders. There were some good shots on the qui vive. 
The occurrence just took place on the site of Roe's distil- 
lery, and a shot was forthwith fired from a house at the 
corner of Crane Lane, which closed the loyal career of the 
soldier who wounded my mother. He was shot dead. The 
official report in the newspapers next day stated that they 
were so near capturing the Committee or Directory of the 
United Irishmen that in their flight they left the taper 
lighting, and the wax was soft with which they had been 
sealing their letters and documents. I should have men- 
tioned that Magan went up the next morning to know had 
anything happened, as he was quite uneasy at not seeing 
Lord Edward and Mrs Moore, and that he had stopped up 
until midnight expecting them. While on this point I 
may as well finish it. When Dr Madden was getting in- 
formation from my mother, he asked who she thought had 
betrayed Lord Edward. Whether she said this to him oi 
not I cannot say; but just as he left, she said to me, 'Dr 
Madden asked me who I thought betrayed Lord Edward, 
and only fearing I should sin against charity, I would have 
said it was Magan, for no one but my mother and he knew 
that Lord Edward was to go down to his (Magan's) house 
on Usher's Island the night his lordship was stopped by 
Major Sirr. Poor Lord Edward himself did not know we 
were going to Magan's house till we set out for it. We 
told Magan next day what a narrow escape we had that 
night, and how Lord Edward had to take refuge in 
Murphy's. Lord Edward was arrested on the following 
day in Murphy's house.' * 

" Gallagher, of whom I have already spoken, was brought 
out for execution ; but he put on a freemason's apron, 
having received an intimation that the captain of the 
guard was a member of the craft. By some rule of their 
/aith, one brother cannot see another hanged. Be this as it 

* It is more than probable that Mrs Maoready did not avow 
during that interview her suspicion of Magan. It took place, aa 
we leam from the Lives of the United Irishmen, (vol. ii., p. 406,) in 
the year 1842. Magan was then alive. Reminiscences contributed 
by Mrs Macre»^y appear, but Magtn'g name does not occur io 
them. " /T- 


may, the captain ordered Ms men away, and GaJIaghor was 
taken back to the Provost Prison until some non-masonic 
hangman could be got. After, or about this time, the 
executions at the corner of Bridgefoot Street, in Thomas 
Street, were going on, and the blood flowing from the 
block whereon the poor rebels were quartered clogged up 
the sewers, and some dogs were licking it up. The Lady 
Lieutenant was driving past, and got such a fright from 
ihis horrible scene that she fainted in the caniage. Having 
arrived home, she wrote to her brother, who was high in 
the then Government, for God's sake to stop this wholesale 
massacre of the defenceless. Her humane appeal had the 
desired effect ; an order came to stem all further execu- 
tions ; enough blood had been shed. The rest of the pri- 
soners were ordered to be transported, and vessels for that 
purpose were sent over. In one of these poor Gallagher 
was placed, heavily ironed. The night before the trans- 
port sailed, his young wife was permitted to see him, when 
his manacles, for that occasion, were taken off. His wife 
brought a coU of sash cord under her dress ; night came 
on before she left, and Gallagher held one end while she 
took the other ashore. The captain, as soon as he thought 
the wife was out of sight of the ship, ordered the prisoner 
to be put in irons again. When they went to him for 
that purpose he said, ' Can you not wait one minute V 
They paused, and he leaped overboard, and was towed by 
the rope safely ashore, before the sailors (who told the cap- 
tain the man had leaped in) had time to overtake him in a 
boat. He was put aboard a smuggling lugger that con- 
veyed salt to France, and in ye.irs afterwards James Moore, 
his former master, met him 'n Lcndon. He told him he 
was a wealthy hotel-keeper i Bordeaux, and the hand- 
some landlady, of course, was '■.he person who pulled the 
cord with him aboard the transport ship. 

" My mother took £500 to the doctor who attended the 
prisoners in Birmingham Tower, Dublin Castle, where my 
grandfather was detained, and ^e certified my grandfather 
was mad ! Whether he arrives it this conclusion from his 
professional skill or my motheiN persuasive powers, de- 
ponent further knoweth not ; but I even heard, in tha 
event of my grandfather's escape, he was to be further 


convinced that my grandsire was mad. Major Sirr had 
not implicit faith in the doctor's word, for he went to the 
Tower to judge for himself. The prisoner must have 
acted the maniac to life, for he made Major Sirr run for 
his life after severely biting him. He then passed out of 
the Tower and escaped up Castle Street. The Government 
never re-arrested him, believing him insane. 

" Major Sirr and Jemmy O'Brien, the informer, were 
looking for pikes at the rear of my grandfather's stores in a 
field that is now occupied by Messrs Fitzimmons, timber- 
merchants, Bridgeford Street. A croppy, named Clayton, 
saw them, and had them covered with his carbine; but, as 
he could only hit one, he feared the other might escape, 
and that he himself would be captured. He told this tf 
-Casey, who said each of them were fully worth a charge of 
powder. This, perhaps, was the narrowest escape Major 
Sirr had, for he it was that was covered, and covered 
moreover by a man of unerring aim — the same who hit the 
soldier at Costigan's Gate." 


O'Brien, to whom Mr Macready refers, had obtained an 
unenviable notoriety for murder, burglary, and general 
chicane, when Major Sirr enlisted him in his service as a 
" bloodhound," who, to quote the words of Curran, " with 
more than instinctive keenness pursued victim after victim." 
" I have heard," he added, " of assassinations by sword, by 
pistol, and by dagger, but here is a wretch who would dip 
the Evangelists in blood. If he thinks he has not sworn 
his victim to death, he is ready to swear without mercy 
and without end. But, oh ! do not, I conjure you, suffer 
him to take an oath ; the hand of the murderer should not 
pollute the purity of the gospel, or, if he will swear, let it 
be by the knife, the proper symbol of his profession." To 
trace O'Brien through the bloody track of his progress 
during " the reign of terror," would prove a repulsive task. 
The following account of the circumstances which led to 
his end were given to us in IS^i by a gentleman conneefed 


with the Irish Executive. In the year 1800, O'Brien was 
deputed to scrutinise some persons who had assembled for 
the purpose of playing foot-ball near Stevens' Lane. In 
scrambling over a fence which enclosed the field, assisted 
by an old man named Hoey, who happened to be on the 
spot, the cry of " O'Brien the informer" was immediately 
raised, the people fled, and O'Brien in his chagrin turned 
round and Ulogically wreaked his vengeance by stabbing 
Hoey to deatk He was tried for the crime, and sentenced 
to execution by Judge Day, who was a just judge in bad 
times, and disregarded the eulogiums with which Major 
Sirr belauded O'Brien during the trial. The delight of 
the populace was unbounded. A vast ocean of people 
surged round the prison and under the gallows. A delay 
occurred ; the populace became impatient, and finally un- 
easy, lest the Government should have yielded to the 
memorial which was known to have been presented in his 
favour. A multitudinous murmur gradually gave place to 
a loud boom of popular indignation. The delay was 
caused by the cowardice of O'Brien, who shrank from his 
approaching doom. Prostrate on his knees, he begged 
intervals of indulgence according as the turnkey reminded 
him " that his hour had come." At length Tom Galvin, 
the hangman, a person of barbarous humour, accosted him, 
saying, " Ah, Misther O'Brien, long life to you, sir, come 
out on the balcony, an' don't keep the people in suspense; 
they are mighty onasy entirely under the swing-swong." 


(P. 116, ante.) 

Having some reason to doubt the accuracy of the ac- 
count given on hearsay by the late Lord Cloncurry, and 
quoted by Dr Madden, which represented Lawless effecting 
his escape in the guise of a butcher, carrying a side of beef 
on his shoulder, we instituted inquiries as to the real facts, 
and the parties exclusively competent to state them ; and 
with this object we had an interview, in 1854, with the 
late Mrs Eyan of Upper Gardiner Street, then in her 
eighty-second year. 


After the break-up of tte Executive Directory by the 
arrests at Oliver Bond's, a new one, composed of John and 
Henry Shears, William Lawless, and others, started into 
existence, determined to carry out the plans of the original 
foundera. Proclamations appeared, and several arrests 
were made ; but Lawless, owing to his own tact, and the 
presence of mind of his friends, escaped. Lawless was 
proceeding to his mother's house in French Street at a 
rapid pace, through Digges Street, when his sister, per- 
ceiving his approach, appeared at the drawing-room win- 
dow, and motioned him to retire. The house was at that 
moment undergoing a search by Major Sirr and his myr- 
midons, and had Lawless come up, his hfe would, doubt- 
less, have paid the forfeit. It is a significant fact that, on 
the following day, Henry Sheares was arrested in the act 
of knocking at Lawless's door. The family of Mr Byrne, 
of Byrne's Hill, in the Liberty, was then staying at their 
country residence, near Kimmage, where Mr Byrne and 
his daughters, of whom our informant, Mrs Kyan, was 
one, provided Lawless with an asylum. He was concealed 
in a garret-bedroom, communicating with. a small clothes 
closet, into which he retired at every approach, even of 
the servants, who were quite unconscious of his presence. 
Days rolled over, and the search, but without avail, con- 
tinued. Military and yeomanry scoured the country 
round. Major Sirr was so active, that some swore he 
possessed the alleged ornithological property of being in 
two places at once. 

The Lawyers' corps having been on duty near Kimmage, 
it was suggested that Mr Byrne's house should be searched ; 
but a gallant nephew of Lord Avonmore, who commanded, 
refused to sanction this proceeding, in consequence of Mr 
Byrne's absence, and the presence of several ladies in the 
house. Lawless thanked his stars ; but the fears of the 
family were greatly excited by the proximity of his pur 
suers, and they resolved at all hazards to remove him to 
Dublin previous to making one desperate effort to reach 
France. Word was sent to Philip Lawless, an emineni 
brewer, residing at Warrenmount, the elder brother ol 
William, to send his carriage to Mr Byrne's to convey him to 
town. Mrs Kyan^then Miss Byrne, dressed Lawless in a loose 


white wrapper of her own, and a close beaver bonnet. As 
Lawless possessed a pale, sallow countenance. Miss Byrne 
applied some effective touches, not of ordinary rouge, but 
of lake paint, to his cheeks. The outlaw, accompanied by 
Mrs Ryan and her two sisters, entered the cirriage a,nd 
proceeded openly at noon-day to Dublin. The rebellion 
had not yet burst forth. No opposition was offered to the 
ordinary transit of vehicles. When half way to Dublin, a 
party of yeomanry scowled into the carriage, but not de- 
tecting anything suspicious, suffered it to proceed. Having 
arrived at the residence of Mrs Lawless, the outlaw sent for 
a suit of sailor's clothes and donned them ; but his long 
pale face was far from disguised. To effect this desidera- 
tum, Lawless placed upon his head an immense coil of 
cable, which he so arranged that a large portion descended 
upon his forehead, and went far to baffle recognition. As 
he proceeded with this burthen in the direction of Eoger- 
son's Quay, the redoubtable Major Sirr passed him closely, 
but the disguise was so perfect, that no suspicion seems 
to have been excited. Lawless gained greater confidence 
from this moment, reached the wharf, embarked on board 
I merchant vessel, and a favourable wind soon wafted him 
to the shores of France. He entered the military service 
of that country, gained distinction, lost a leg, and died a 
general in 1824. 

One of the Irish refugees. Colonel Byrne, addressing 
the present writer in a letter dated " Paris, Rue Mon- 
taigne, February 18, 1854," says : — 

" Lord Cloncurry committed a mistake in his ' Personal 
Recollections ' respecting General Lawless having lost his 
leg at Flushing, in August 1809. He lost it at the battle 
of Lowenberg, in August 1813. It appeared ridiculous 
that a colonel with but one leg should be put at the head 
of a regiment of infantry in a campaign by Napoleon." 

* Colonel Byrne adds : " I have made notes of the principal events 
and transactions that came within my knowledge during the insur- 
rection of 1798, as well as that of 1803. If I thought their publioa- 
bion could in any way tend to benefit my native country, I would 
cheerfully get them printed ; but I am well aware that the present 
time is not a propitious moment. I trust a time may come when 
the publication of such documents will be encouraged. They will 
(how the efforts and sacrifices Uiat were made to procure the iude 


In Ireland Lawless had been a physician of great 
promise, and fiUed the chair of Physiology and Anatomy 
at the College of Surgeons. Another eminent medical 
man, Dr Dease, Professor of the Practice of Surgery, was 
also deeply implicated ; but he lacked the moral energy 
of Lawless, and, on timely information reaching him that 
a warrant was in progress for his apprehension, he retired 
to his study^ and died, like Cato, by his own hand. A 
fine white marble bust of this physician, inscribed " Wil- 
liam Dease, obiit 1798," is preserved in the Hall of the 
College of Surgeons. The old man's brow, furrowed by 
years of earnest honest labour, and the intelligent expres- 
sion of his eye, prematurely quenched, awaken painful 

William Lawless possessed a cultivated literary taste ; 
ajad in the Irish Masonic Mctffazine for 1794, many poems 
from his pen may be found. He had been a member of 
the Royal Irish Academy ; but Faulkner's Dublin Journal 
for 1803 announces his expulsion on political grounds. 


A late eminent writer, Mr Daniel Owen Maddyn, author 
of " Ireland and its Rulers," " Revelations of Ireland," 
" The Age of Pitt and Fox," " Chiefs of Parties," &c., in a 
letter to the author, written a few days before his death, 
strongly recommended that the present work, of which we 
gave him an outline, should be entitled, " Lord Edward 
Fitzgerald and hisBloodhounds,"and enclosed a story which 
he rightly considered would form an interesting note. 
The story, whether true or false, ran to this effect : — 

" Lady C was extremely anxious to discovei 

where her father was interred,- so as to give him decent 

pendenoe of Ireland." Colonel Byrne has since paid the debt Oi 
nature, and the work in question has been published under the aus- 
pices of his widow, a sister to the late Francis Homer. 

* A story is told to the effect that Dr Dease, having made a fatal 
mistake in professional treatment of a patient, committed suicide ; 
but the true circumstances of his death we believe to be as above 
given, and this account we find corroborated by Dr Madden. 


sepulture. It was said that he had been buried in various 
places ; but on examining them, it was found that the 
information was erroneous. After much investigation, she 
was at last referred to one old man, who, it was stated, 
could teU her. 

" She accordingly went to this pauper's house, and 
found a man in bed, and no sooner did he see her than he 
said, ' I know who you are — you must be the daughter of 
Lord Edward Fitzgerald, you are so like him.' She told 
• him the object of her visit, and then he related to her that 
he had lingered about Newgate when her father died, and 
that after nightfall he saw six men bearing out a shell, and 
that he followed them untU they came to Werburgh's 
Church, and that he saw them take the coffin into the 
vaults of the church, and that, unperceived by them, he 
stole into the vaults after. them, and saw where they de- 
posited the coffin. From intensity of feeling, in the wild- 
ness of grief for his lost master, he stayed all that night in 
the vaults, and in order to mark the coffin he scratched the 
letters ' E. F.' on the lid. In doing this he used a rusty 
old naU which he had picked up. He had great difficulty 
afterwards in forcing his way out through a grated 

" He then put his arm into his breast and took out a 

rag of cloth, gave Lady C the identical naU, and told 

her to go to Werburgh's Church. She went there with her 
friends, and in the vaults she discovered the coffin exactly 
as it had been described by her informant, and the letters 
' E. F.' incised on it several inches long. 

" Such," adds Mr Maddyn, " is the story told me by a 
member of the bar — a Tory, and a man moving in capital 

In the churchyard of St Worburgli is also buried Major 
Sirr, by whose hand Lord Edward fell. See Appendix. 


The Brothers Sheares were natives of Cork, whither the 
younger had proceeded, early in May 1798, for the pur- 


pose of organising that county. An energetic co-operator 
in this movement was a silversmith named Conway, a 
native of Dublin. The treachery of this man was so art- 
fully concealed that his most intimate friends never sus- 
pected him. 

"If those who join secret societies," writes a Cork 
correspondent, " could get a peep at the records of pati'iotlc 
perfidy kept in the Castle, they would get some insight 
into die dangerous consequences of meddling with them. 
There is a proverbial honour amongst thieves ; there seems 
to be none amongst traitors. The publication of the offi- 
cial correspondence about the end of the last century made 
some strange revelations. In Cork, there lived a watch- 
maker, named Conway, one of the directory of the United 
Irishmen there. So public and open a professor of dis- 
loyal sentiments was he, that on the plates of his watches 
he had engraved as a device a harp without a crown. For 
a whole generation this man's name was preserved as ' a 
sufferer for his country,' like Ms ill-fated townsmen, John 
and Henry Sheares. The ' Cornwallis Correspondence,' 
(vol. iii., p. 85,) reveals the fact that Conway was a double- 
dyed traitor ; that he had offered to become a secret agent 
for detecting the leaders of the United Irishmen, and that 
the information he gave was very valuable, particularly as 
confirming that received from a solicitor in Belfast, who, 
whilst acting as agent and solicitor to the disaffected party, 
was betraying their secrets to the executive, and earning, 
in his vile rdle of informer, a pension, from 1799 to 1804, 
of .£150, and the sum of .£1460, the wages he received 
for hia services." 

The fate of the Sheares has been invested with some- 
thing of a romantic interest ; and not a few traditional ac- 
counts describe their end as not less saintly than that of 
Charles the First. Into their case, as in that of other 
poKtical martyrs, some romance has been imported ; and 
as trath is stranger than fiction, we may tell an anecdote 
communicated to us by the late John Patten, brother-in- 
law of Thomas Addis Emmet. The Sheareses, though 
nominally Protestants, were tinged with deistical ideas. 
" I heard it stated," observed Mr Patten, " that when the 
hangman was in the act of adjusting the noosn round the 


neck of John Sheares before proceeding to tlie scafifuld, he 
exclaimed, ' D — n you, do you want to kill me before 
my time ? ' I could not credit it, and asked the Eev. Dr 
Gamble, who attended them in their last moments, if the 
statement were correct. ' I am sorry to say,' replied Dr 
Gamble, ' that it is perfectly true. I mj'self pressed my 
hand against his mouth to prevent a repetition of the im- 
precation.' " 

(See p. 107, ante.) 

Exception has been taken to impressions of the reign of 
terror in Ireland, whether derived from traditional sources 
which possess no personal knowledge of it, and, on the 
principle that a story never loses in its carriage, may be 
prone to exaggeration ; or from the testimony of partisan 
participators in the struggle, who still smart from the com- 
bined effects of wrong received and unsatisfied vengeance. 

The Viceroy, Lord Cornwallis, is at least a witness above 
suspicion. In a letter dated April 15, 1799, he writes : — 

" On my arrival in this country I put a stop to the 
burning of houses and murder of the inhabitants by the 
yeomen, or, any other persons who delighted in that amuse- 
ment ; to the flogging for the purpose of extorting confes- 
sion ; and to the free-quarters, which comprehend universal 
rape and robbery throughout the whole country." And on 
the 24th July 1798, we are assured, "except in the in- 
stances of the six state trials that are going on here, there 
is no law either in town or county but martial law, and 
you know enough of that, to see all the horrors of it, even 
in the best administration of it. Judge, then, how it must 
be conducted by Irishmen, heated with passion and re- 
venge. But all this is trifliiig compared vnth the number- 
less murders which are hourly committed by our peoplu 
without any process or examination whatever."* 

To either of the objections just noticed, advanced by 
persons who are sceptical as to the extent of the Irish 
Reign of Terror, General Sir George Cockbum, who fought 
• Correspondenco of Marqui- Cornwallir vol. ii., p. 368. 


against the rebelSj is not open. From his representative, 
Phineas Cockbum, Esq., of Shangana Castle, we have re- 
ceived several interesting MSS. in the autograph of the 
General, which possess much interest for the students of 
the calamitous period of '98. 

" Sampson's papers," observes General Cockbum, in a 
letter to Lord Anglesey, " contained details of most hor- 
rible outrages on the people, of cruelty and foul deeds. Of 
course violence begets violence, and though the people in 
many cases were driven to retaliation, it was not before 
murder, burning, destruction of i.roperty, often on sus- 
picion of being suspected, and flogging, drove them to 

'The following curious paper has, with others, been placed 
at our disposal by Mr Cockburn : — 




No. 1.— The Cabinet, viz., 

The Chancellor, . 

Speaker, . 

C. Cashel (Archbishop 


J. Beresford, Commissr 



) 3 



No. 2. — Under-strappera 
to do., ... 

E. Cooke, . 

Drogheda, . 



J. Claudius Beresford, 


No. 3. — Strong supporters 
of do.", of Orangeism, 
jobbing and corruption. 


Carleton, . 
Isaac Cony, 


So. 4. — Servants to the 
Faction, viz., 

' Waterford, 
Annesley, . 
Blaquire, . 
Londonderry, . 
.Kingsborough, . 

. 21 



No. 5. — Very miscUevotis 
men, and enemies to 

No. 6.— E- 

1 Magis- 
trates, always ready to 
murder, bum, &c., 

No. 7. — Miscreants, , 

No. 8. — Spies, viz., . 

(Downshire, . • "2 

DiUon, ... 23 
Trench, . • -24: 

Dr Duignan, . . 25 

> 0'Beirne,Bp. of Heath, 26 

I Tuam (Archbishop), . 27 

[Alexander, Mem. Derry, 28 

/■Bums, Meath, \ 

Finley, do., 

Cleghorn, do., 

S. H. Mannix, Cork, 
Fitzgerald, Tip]jerary,Ln 

\ Jacob, 







HempenstaU, Lt 
Spectacle En ox, 
Higgins, . 

( Armstrong, 
■! Keynolds, . 
[ Cope,t 




No. 9. — Turnkey and Gaol- frt-jf„.. 
er to the Faction, . \ '^'^^^^> 






* This entry has elicited, since publication, a protest from the re- 
presentatives of the late Captain Tyrrel, J. P., of Ballinderry, county 
KUdare. We have instituted inquiries on the subject, and find 
fliat this family were always Dopular. General Cockbum probably 
K,*ers to anothe" party. 

T Another remonstrance haa reached us from Sir William H. 
Cope, Bart., who, not unnaturally, complains that the word " spy " 
should be applied to his late grandfather, ^^ is the phrase occurs in 
a document written by General Cocliburii, it is impossible to alter 
it ; but we can have no difficulty in saying, that although Mr. Oope 
urged Eeyuolria to re.^ort to betrayal aud espionage, he 


A few remarks in illustration of the persons enumerated 
in tlie " Step- Ladder " of General Cockburn serves to dis- 
close a condensed history of the time. 

1. Lord Chancellor Clare was the son of John Fitzgibbon, 
who had received his education for the Eoman Catholic 
priesthood, but preferring civil to canon law, conformed, 
with a view to becoming a member of the bar. The subse- 
quent Lord Clare was appointed attorney-general in 1784, 
and five years later attained the topmost rung of " the step- 
ladder," from whence he looked down with supercilious 
scorn on those by whose aid he had risen. He rapidly 
covered all Ireland with his partisans. Both houses of 
Parliament became his automatons. Of coercion he was 
an uncompromising advocate. In 1784, as alleged by 
Plowden, he introduced a bUl for demolishing Eoman 
Catholic chapels. In Parliament he defended the use of 
torture. In private, as his letters to Lord Castlereagh 
show, he upset the biU of Catholic relief, which, according 
to Mr Pitt's promise, was to have accompanied the Act of 
Union. But it should be remembered by the assailants of 
Lord Clare's reputation, that, unlike many of the influential 
men enumerated in General Cockbum's " step-ladder," he, 
at least, was politically consistent, and did not commence 
his career in the ranks of the tribunes. In action he was 
impulsive, fearless, and despotic. Bushing to a political 
meeting convened by the High Sheriff of Dublin, and at- 
tended by one friend only, this, the most unpopular man in 
all Ireland, interrupted a democratic orator in his address, 
commanded the mob to disperse, almost pushed the high 
sheriff from the chair, and threatened an ex-offido informa- 
tion. The sheriff, panic-stricken, dissolved the meeting. 
If hissed in the street. Lord Clare pulled out pistols.* He 
powerfully contributed to carry the Union. His ambition 
was indomitable, and he aspired to transfer his boundless 
influence to the wider field of England. He had placed 
several viceroys in succession beneath his thumb. Might 

himself neither a spy nor » betrayer. Sir William Cope's able 
rindication ol his grandfather from General Cockbum's aucusa^ 
tion of " Spy," Till be found at the conclusion of our notes to th« 
* Unpublished Diary of Lord Clonmel, p. 419. 


he not also attain an ascendency over the personage whom 
they represented ? 

" K I live," said Lord Clare, when the measure was 
brought before the House of Peers, " if I live to see the 
Union completed, to my latest hour I shall feel an honour- 
able pride in reflecting on the little share I may have had 
in contributing to effect it." 

His first speech in the British Parliament met with in- 
terruption and rebuffs. He abused the Catholics, ridiculed 
his country, was called to order by Lord Suffolk, rebuked 
by the Lord Chancellor, resumed, was again called to order, 
lost temper, and stigmatised the opposition as " Jacobini 
and levellers." " We would not bear this insult from an 
equal." exclaimed the Duke of Bedford ; " shall we endure 
it at the hands of mushroom nobility V Even Mr Pitt was 
disgusted. " Good G — d," said he, addressing Mr Wilber- 
force, " did ever you hear, in all your Ufe, so great a rascal as 
that?" Mr Grattan mentions, in the memoirs of his father, 
that this anecdote was stated by Mr WUberforce to Mr North. 

Crestfallen, Lord Clare returned to Ireland, where he 
found a number of hungry place-seekers awaiting his arrival. 
" Ah," said he, as he began to calculate his influence, and 
found it wanting, " 7, that once had aU Ireland at my dis- 
posal, cannot now nominate the appointment of a ganger." 
His heart broke at the thought, and on January 28, 1802, 
f lOrd Clare, after a painful illness, and while yet compara- 
*i.fely young, died.* His death-bed presented a strange 
picture. Charles PhiUips says he ordered his papers to be 
bumed,+ as himdreds might be compromised. In Grattan's 

• A few days after the Sham Squire's demise. Lord Clare, not- 
withstanding his avowed tendency to foster political profligacy, pos- 
sessed the redeeming virtue of having snubbed the Sham Squire. 

+ It has been mentioned by the AtJienceum (No. 1684) aa a signi- 
ficant fact, that nearly all those who were concerned in carrying the 
Union had destroyed their papers, and Lord Clare, Sir Edward 
Littlehales, with Messrs Wickham, Taylor, Marsden, and King, were 
instanced. It is also remarkable, that all the MS. reports of the 
eloquent anti-Union speeches, with the MSS. of many pamphlets 
hostile to the measure, were purchased from Moore the publisher, 
and burnt by order of Lord Castlereagh. See Grattan's Memoirs, vol 
v., p. 1 80. Lord Clonmel, in his last moments, expressed much anxiety 
to destroy his papers.'* His nephew. Dean Scott, who assisted in the 
conflagration, assured Mr Grattan that one letter in particular com- 


Memoirs it is stated, on the authority of Lord Clare's 
nephew, that he bitterly deplored having taken any part in 
effecting the Union. Plowden states that he vainly called 
for the assistance of a Catholic priest ; but we have never 
seen the allegation confirmed. His funeral was insulted by 
much of the indecency which attended Lord Castlereagh's 
in Westminster Abbey. In one of Lord Clare's speeches 
he declared, that he would make the Catholics as tame as 
cats. Dead cats were flung upon his hearse and his grave. 
Lord Cloncurry, in his " KecoUections," says that he was 
obliged to address the infuriated populace from the balcony 
of Lord Clare's house in Ely Place, ere they could be in- 
duced to relinquish the unseemly hooting which swelled 
the death-kneE of John, Earl of Clare. 

2. " Mr Foster, we learn, was for several years not only 
the supporter, and indeed the ablest supporter of the admin- 
istration, but the conductor and manager of their schemes 
and operations."* He sternly opposed the admission ol 
Catholics to the privileges of the constitution ; but Ireland 
must always remember him with gratitude for the deter- 
mined hostility with which, as Speaker of the Irish Parlia- 
ment, he opposed the Legislative Union. 

Feeling that the papers of Mr Foster (afterwards Lord 
Oriel) would throw great light upon the history of the 
Union, we asked the late Lord Massareene, who represented 
him, for permission to see them, but it appeared that the 
Honourable Chichester SkefBngton " seized" the archives 
after Lord Ferrard's death, and Lord Massareene never saw 
them after. 

pletely revealed Lord Castlereagb's scheme to foster the Rebellion 
of '98 in order to cany the Union. The purchase of Lord De 
Blaquire's papers by the Government appears in our notice of that 
personage. Mr Commissioner Phillips tells us that the debates on 
the Union called into operation all the oratorical talent of Ireland, 
but their record has been suppressed, and that the volume contain- 
ing the session of 1800 is so inaccessible, that it has been sought for 
in vain to complete the series in the library of the Bouse of Lorda 
Whether by accident or design, the materials for a true history of 
the Union are yearly becoming less. The late Lord Londonderry 
has recorded that the ship which was conveying a chest of the most 
valuable of his brother Castlereagh'g papers foundered, and the 
papers were lost ! 
* Beview of the Irish Hoixie of Commons, p, 129, 


3. Charles Agar was appointed Archbishop of Ca^hel ia 
1779, translated to Dublin in 1801, and created Earl of 
Normanton in 1806. Long before he obtained these high 
promotions, Lord Clonmel clearly saw that he was a very 
umbitious man. When we learn that his Grace acquired 
£40,000 by a single renewal fine, the statement that he 
amassed a fortime of £400,000 is not surprising.* Lord 
Normanton would seem to have been more active as a 
^rivy councillor than as a prelate, for Archbishop Magee 
declared that "the diocese of Dublin had been totally 
neglected" by his predecessors. t A savage biographical 
notice of Archbishop Agar appears in Cox's Irish Maga- 
line for August 1809, pp. 382-4, together with some lines 
beginning : — 

" Adieu, thou mitred nothingness, adieu, 
Thy failings many, and thy virtues few." 

Yet amid the sectarian strife of that day it is pleasant to 
§nd " C, Cashel" in amicable epistolary correspondence 
with Ms rival, Dr James Butler, Roman Catholic Arch- 
bishop of the same diocese.:]; 

4. Lord Castlereagh, who, falsifying the hyperbolical 
apothegm of Dr Johnson that " patriotism was the last 
refuge of a scoundrel," began political life in the ranks of the 
patriots. Of his hostility to the lordly interest, and identifi- 
cation with the reform or popular party, the autobiographies 
of Teeling and Sampson furnish curious particulars. His 
electioneering agent on those principles was NeUson the 
Rebel. Lord Castlereagh's subsequent career is too notori- 
ous to require special detail. Dr Madden calls him the 
Robespierre of Ireland, and says that his memory haf 
" the faint sickening smell of hot blood about it." Lord 
Comwallis writes of him in 1798 — "I have every reason 
to be highly satisfied with ]jord Castlereagh, who is really 
a very uncommon young man." This " uncommon young 
man " exerted himself certainly in an uncommon way. He 
writes, in a letter marked "Most Secret," dated Dublin 

* Dalton's Archbishops ol jjublin, p. 351. 
+ Charge delivered October 24, 1822, p. 30. 
J Renehan's Irjsh Church History, edited by Rev. J). M'Cartbj 
p. 3<fi. ' 


Castle, Januaiy 2, 1799, and printed in the " Cornwallia 
Papers," — " My deae Sir, — Already we feel the want, and 
indeed the absolute necessity of the primuvi mobile. Wt 
cannot give that activity to the press which is requisite. 
We have good materials amongst the young barristers, but 
we cannot expect them to waste their time and starve into 
the bargain. I know the difficulties, and shall respect 
them as much as possible, in the extent of our expenditure; 
but, notwithstanding every difficulty, I cannot help most 
earnestly requesting to receive £5000 in bank-notes by the 
first messenger." This letter is addressed to one of the 
Government officials in London, and ample remittances 
came forthwith. Ireland, when weak and prostrate from 
loss of blood, was robbed by Lord Castlereagh of its virtue 
and its parliament. The corruption he practised to silence 
opposition has been sometimes denied ; but little attempt 
to disguise it appears in his own correspondence, not- 
withstanding the ample weeding which it admittedly 

" It will be no secret," writes the unprincipled states- 
man, " what has been promised, and hy what means the 
Union has been secured. His appointment will encourage, 
not prevent, disclosures ; and the only effect of such a pro- 
ceeding on their (the ministers') part will be, to add the 
weight of their testimony to that of the auti-unionists in, 
proclaiming the projiigacy of the means by which the mea- 
sure has been accomplished."* 

The " Cornwallis Papers " are much less reticent than 
the printed correspondence of Lord Castlereagh. Mr Wick- 
ham writes, on January 7, 1799, in reply to Lord Castle- 
reagh's appeal for money, that " a messenger will be sent 
off to-morrow with the remittance [£5000,] particularlj 
required for the present moment;" and that "the Duke of 
Portland has every reason to hope that means will soon be 
found of placing a larger sum at the Lord Lieutenant's dis- 

!)03aL" Lord Castlereagh, on January 10, thus acknow- 
edges the money : — " The contents of the messenger's de- 
spatches are very interesting. Arrangements with a view 
to further communications of the same nature will be 

* Memoirs and Correspondence of Viscount Castlereagh, voL iii 
p. 331. 


highly advantageous, and the Duke may depend on theii 
being carefully applied." P. 34. 

On November 23, 1798, money is required to stimulate 
the provincial press. April 5, 1800, Mr Pitt promised to 
send from £8000 to £10,000. July 10, 1800, Mr Mars- 
den writes : — " Lord Castlereagh wishes me to remind you 
of the necessity of supplies — we are in great want." Dec. 
9, 1800, a similar call. 

After these details we are not surprised that the late 
Duke of Portland should have become heartily ashamed of 
preserving his father's correspondence. Mr Boss, editor of 
the " Comwallis Papers," writes : — " Among the valuable 
sources of information thus freely opened to me I must 
mention the 'Spencer,' 'Hardwicke,' 'Sydney,' and 'Mel- 
ville Papers.' Many other coUectious have been as cordially 
submitted to my inspection, but upon investiffotion it ap- 
peared that such documents as might have thrown additional 
yight on the history of those times, and espedaUy of the 
Union, had been purposely destroyed. For instance, after 
a search instituted at Welbeck, by the kindness of the 
Duke of Portland, it was ascertained that the late Duke 
had burnt all his father's political papers from 1780 to his 

Tke editor of the " ComwalUs Papers " writes : — " Mr 
Wickham, Mr King, Sir Herbert Taylor, Sir Edward 
Littlehales, Mr Marsden, the Knight of Kerry, and indeed 
almost all the persons officially concerned in carrying the 
Union, appear to have destroyed the whole of their papers. 
Mr Marsden, by whom many of the arrangements were 
concluded, left a MS. book containing invaluable details, 
which was burnt only a few years ago by its then possessor. 
The destruction of so many valuable documents respecting 
important transactions cannot but be regarded as a serious 
k)ss to the political history of those times." 

* It is indeed unfair to lay entirely on Ireland the stigma of the 
corruption which then prevailed. The great William Pitt directed 
it, as has been fully admitted by his biographer. Lord Stanhope. 
Mr Pitt, in one of his letters printed in the " Comwallis Papers," 
writes regarding the opponents of the Union : — " It is very desirable 
(if Government is strong enough to do it) to mark by dismissal the 
■ense entertained of tl^e conduct of those persons who opposed. 
Id p^icular .... in the instance of the Speaker's son." 


the Knigbt of Kerry is, we believe, the only Irishman 
named in the above list. We are informed by the present 
Knight that all his father's "Union papers" are preserved, 
and he kindly promised to give us access to them if de- 

5. The Right Honourable John Beresford, member for 
Waterford, discharged, besides his more legitimately re- 
cognised duties as commissioner of revenue, a somewhat 
nondescript office, similar to that held, during a later period, 
by the Eight Honourable William Saurin. His influence 
penetrated every department of the state ; and to every con- 
temporary viceregal administration, except of that of Lord 
Fitzwilliam, who paid the penalty of his independence, Mr 
Beresford was the arrogant and dogmatical dictator. His 
family held places to the amount of £20,000 per annum. 
In Mr Beresford's correspondence, rather recently published, 
much curious matter appears. Eeferring to some remarks 
of Denis Bowes Daly, Mr Beresford writes : — " No Lord 
Lieutenant could exist with my powers ; that I had been a 
Lord Chancellor, a Chief Justice of the King's Bench, an 
Attorney-General, nearly a Primate, and certainly a Com- 
mander-in-Chief ; that I was at the head of the Eevenue, 
and had the law, the army, the revenue, and a great deal 
of the church in my possession ; and he said expressly, 
that I was considered the king of Ireland."* 

6. Mr Under-Secretary Cooke has been noticed at p. 
124, ante. 

7. The Marquis of Drogheda was not a prominent 
character. "As an orator," observes a writer in 1779, 
"he is of no consideration; in fact, he seldom speaks." 
Lord Drogheda's political labours were behind the scenes, 
and the prompter's duties were often discharged by him. 
He quietly promoted the Legislative Union, vidth other 
calamitous measures, and then as quietly applied for his 
reward. The Duke of Portland, in a private and confi- 
dential letter to the Viceroy, dated June 27, 1800, declares 
that Lord Drogheda's claims to be a member of the repre- 
sentative peerage were " irresistible." t 

* Mr Beresford to Lord Auckland, Dublin, January 9, 1795, voj. 
ii., p. 51. 
f Cas^reagh Correspondence' vol iii.> p. 346. 


8. Lord Glentworth's services were much of the same 
order as those of the Marquis of Drogheda. So little was 
he known outside the backstairs of the Castle that he 
obtains no place in either of the contemporary publications 
which we have more than once consulted. It wiU be 
remembered that his was one of the three peerages which 
Grattan and Ponsonby offered to prove had been sold foi 
hard cash, and the money laid out in the purchase of 
members in the House of Commons. P. 40, <mte. 

9. Of Lord Carhampton we have already spoken fully 
See pp. 46-49, ante. 

10. John Claudius Beresford, son of Mr Commissioner 
Beresford, already noticed, succeeded him as a member of 
" the Irish Backstairs Cabinet." He expressed a wish for 
the rebellion, that Mr Pitt might see with what promp- 
titude it could be crushed. In conjunction with Major 
Sirr, Mr Beresford maintained a battalion of spies, which 
octogenarians sometimes refer to as "Beresford's Blood- 
hounds." He largely helped to stimulate the rebellion of 
'98 by a generally coercive policy, which was crueUy foL 
lowed up by the administration of torture. This was 
practised under the personal direction of John Claudius 
Beresford, both at the riding school in Marlborough Street 
and on the site of the present City HalL When Lord 
Castlereagh endeavoured to ignore the charge, Mr Beres- 
ford in Parliament not only admitted but defended the 
vile practice. He was secretary to the Grand Lodge of 
Orangemen, and infused their views into almost every 
department of the Irish Government. The capriciousness 
of popular feeling in his regard was quite as remarkable as 
the mercurial movement of his own chequered career. 
Having creditably filled the office of Lord Mayor of 
Dublin, his carriage was drawn through the streets by the 
same mob which had often previously execrated him. 

The vicissitude which marked the later career of John 
Claudius Beresford strikingly contrasts with his power 
anterior to the union. In partnership with Mr Wood- 
mason he opened a bank at No. 2 Beresford Place, Dublin. 
One day the bank broke, and Beresford was a bankrupt, 
cut by those who had formerly cringed. A man's good 
fortune often turns his head; but bad fortune as often 

r,OHD BJiNlBlllLLEN. 203 

ftverts the heads of hia friends. Beresford was, perhaps, 
an illusiration of both ends of the apothegm. Some 
persons who had known him in his glory pitied the old 
attenuated man, with bent back and threadbare clothes — 
a well-known spectacle in the streets of Dublin for many 
years after, preaching in silent exposition, "Sic transit 
gloria mundi t " John Claudius Beresford strongly op- 
posed the Union, not, we fear, on patriotic grounds, but 
because it was likely to stem the torrent of his own 
ambition. His character was not without some good 
points, and he is said to have^ been charitable in disburse- 
ment, and of private worth in his family. In the Imperial 
Parliament he represented the County of Waterford, the 
great stronghold of his race, further noticed in our sketch 
of the Marquis of Waterford. 

11. Lord Enniskillen, a vigorous speaker in the Irish 
Parliament, presided at a drum-head trial of a yeoman, 
named Wollagan, for murder, and acquitted him. " It 
was an atrocious murder," writes Plowden ; " every aggra/- 
vating circumstance was proved. No attempt was made 
to contradict any part of the evidence : but a justification 
of the horrid murder was set up, as having been committed 
under an order of the commanding officer, that if the 
yeomen should meet with any whom they knew or sus- 
pected to be rebels, they needed not be at the trouble of 
bringing them in, but were to shoot them on the spot, 
that it was almost the daily practice of that corps to go 
out upon scouring parties." Lord Cornwallis, the new 
viceroy, condemned the verdict, and disqualified Lord 
Enniskillen from sitting on any new court-martial.* 

12. Mr John Lees, a Scotchman, accompanied Lord 
Townshend to Ireland as private secretary. He was 
appointed Secretary at War and Secretary to the Post- 
Office in Dublin, and in 1804 received the honour of a 

13. Lord Carleton, the son of a trader in Cork,-)- who, 
as Lord Clonmel, in his unpublished diary, tells us owed 
all to his patronage, and whom he concludes by abusing aa 
" an ungrateful monster,'' was appointed Solicitor-Genera] 

* Plowden'a HUtory of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 614. 
t Sleater'j Dublin Chronicle for 179X. 


in 1779, Cliief-Justice of the Common Pleas in 1787, 
Baron in 1789, and Viscount eight years later. In his 
policy on the question of the Legislative Union, Lord 
Carleton was not consistent. We find him at first giving 
his sentiments decidedly against it, and a few weeks later 
avowing himself a supporter of the measure. 

Sir Jonah Barrington, in his "Personal Sketches,'' (L 
475,) writes : — " Lord Carleton, as Justice of the Common 
Pleas, had rendered himself beyond description obnoxious 
to the disaffected of Ireland, in consequence of having 
been the judge who tried and condemned the two Coun- 
sellors Sheares, who were executed lor treason, and to 
whom that nobleman had been testamentary guardian by 
the will of their father." The latter statement thus em- 
phatically italicised by Barrington, is one of the startling 
myths in which he habitually indulged. The will of Mr 
Sheares contains no allusion whatever to the Chief-Justice. 

14. Sexten Pery was originally a patriot of ultra 
energy, and of considerable influence with his party. 
During the corrupt administration of Lord Townshend, 
Perry was seduced from his popidar principles. In the 
year 1771 he was appointed Speaker, and in 1785 created 
Viscount Perry. Lord Clonmel, himself a most clear- 
sighted critic, writes of Perry in his Unpublished Diary : 
■ — "He seems to me the best model of worldly wisdom 
now extant ; he is never off his guard." * The Diary 
shows that Lord Clonmel, who also began his career as an 
ardent patriot, made Perry his constant study and model. 
Mr O'Kegan, of the Irish Bar, writing in 1818, bemoans 
that Perry, Malone, and Avonmore should have no bio- 
grapher : " What records have we of those who flourished 
for the last fifty years, the most memorable period of our 
history? Where, then, in what archives are deposited 
monuments of our illustrious dead ? Where, but in 
'Lodge's Peerage,' are to be found any traces of Lord 
Perry r't 

We are able to answer one of the questions asked by 
Vlie biographer of Curran. The historic investigators of 
khe life of Perry and his times may be glad to know that 

* Unpublished Diary of John Scott, Lord Clonmel, p. 856. 
t Memoirs of Curran, preface, p. v>. 


at Dungannou Park, the residence of the youthful Lord 
Ranfurley, is preserved an immense collection of letters 
addressed to the late Lord Perry when he was Speaker of 
the Irish House of Commons* 

15. The Honourable Isaac Corry, Chancellor of the Irish 
Exchequer, and M.P. for Newry, where his father was a 
respectable trader, joined the Whig Opposition, and for 
several years distinguished himself by the violence of his 
patriotism : but during Lord Buckingjiam's administration 
he was appointed Surveyor of Ordnance at a salary of 
£1000 a year, which was followed by further promotion. 
Official peculation had attained a fearful pitch at this time. 
In the Ordnance and Treasury, the grossest frauds pervaded 
almost every departme»t The public stores were plundered 
with impunity in open aay. The arms, ammunition, and 
military accoutrements, condemned as useless, were stolen 
out at one gate, and brought in at the other, and charged 
anew to the public account. Journeymen armourers, who 
worked in the arsenal, seldom went home to their meals 
without conveying away a musket, a sword, or brace of 
pistols, as lawful perquisites, and sanctioned by the con- 
nivance of the superiors. Clerks in subordinate depart- 
partments, with salaries not exceeding £100 per annum, 
kept handsome houses in town and country, with splendid 
sstablishments ; some of them became purcha.sers of loans 
and lotteries : all exhibited signs of redundant opulence, t 
During the debate on the Union, Grattan, with, we think, 
less point than usual, stung the vulnerable ministerialist 
by calling him " a dancing-master ;'' Corry challenged his 
satirist; they left the House, and before the debate ter- 
minated, Corry was shot through the arm.t 

16. The Marquis of Waterford was the leading member 
of the powerfully influential family of the Beresfords. In 
conjunction with his brother he hurled, by their might, the 

* Letter of Henry Alexander, Esq., guardian of Lord Ranfurley, 
dated Carlton Club, July 1, 1860. 

t Plowden's History of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 279. 

X Grattan cultivated unerring aim in conjunction with accurate 
eloquence. In the secluded woods of Tenahinch he might be some- 
times seen declaiming with Demosthenic energy, and the next hour 
lodging bullets in particular trees which still bear marks of the 


liberal viceroy, Lord Fitzwilliam, from office, and provoked 
from the latter a remark in the English House of Peers, to 
the effect, that it was impossible to effect any good in Ire- 
land unless the power of the Beresfords could be destroyed* 
Not until 1826 was this desirable consummation achieved. 
At the Waterford election in that year, the Beresfords re- 
ceived, from the forty-shilling freeholders, their death-blow. 
" I did not think," said Shell, " that there was so much 
virtue under rags." \ This telling stroke was planned and 
feiflicted by Dr Kelly, E. C. Bishop of Waterford. 

17. Lord Annesley was a person of some influence in 
1798, and following years, but he did not long enjoy his 
power. Lord Annesley died without issue, December 19, 
1802, — the year which also terminated the lives of the 
Sham Squire and Lord Clare. 

18. Sir John, afterwards Lord De Blaquire, represents 
one of the Huguenot families of whom we have spoken, 
p. 71, ante. Patronised by Lord Harcourt, he accepted the 
office of bailiff of the Phoenix Park, to which the small 
salary of £40 a year was attached, with the use of a little 
lodge, a garden, grass for two cows, and half-a-crown per 
head for all cattle found trespassing in the Park. The 
first piece of his cleverness was shown in contriving to 
make the salary £50 per annum for his own life and that 
of the king's two eldest sons ; with liberty to graze cattle 
to an unlimited extent. Sir John was a pluralist in sine- 
cures, and amongst the rest filled the office of Director of 
Public Works.t He applied for a more comfortable re- 
sidence, which the Board of Works built for him at the 
public expense of £8000. Sir John, however, was not 
yet satisfied. The garden being small, he successfully 
petitioned for a larger one, whereupon he took in about 

* Lord Clare, writing to the Right Honourable J. C. Beresford, 
says : — " The more I consider the flagrant and unwarrantable 
calumnies which he [Lord Fitzwilliam] deals out so flippantly 
against you, the more I am decided in my opinion that you ought 
in the first instance to bring an action against him for defamation, 
and lay it in the city of London. He had fifty copies of this 
memoir made out by the clerks in the different offices in the Castle, 
which were distributed by his order." — Bereaford Correspondence, 
vol. ij , p 88. 

t r.iiriington'a Personal Stotcbes. vol. L, p. 194. 


ten acres, ■which he surrounded by a wall, also at the ex- 
pense of the nation.* But it is De Blaquire's connexion 
with the Legislative Union, and the rare astuteness with 
which he promoted the success of that measure, on which 
his fame as a diplomatist historically rests. " Sir John 
Blaquire is disposed to exert himself very much,"t observes 
Lord Castlereagh in communicating the good news to the 
Duke of Eutland, on January 7,1799. " The entrance to 
a woman's heart," said the first Napoleon, " is through her 
eye or ear; but the way to a man's heart is down his 
throat." De Blaquire illustrated the wisdom of the apo- 
thegm. " He enjoyed," says Sir Jonah Barrington, " a 
revenue suflSciently ample to enable him to entertain his 
friends as well, and far more agreeably, than any other 
person I had previously met. Nobody understood eating 
and drinking better than Sir John De Blaquire ; and no 
man was better seconded in the former respect, than he 
was by his cook, whom he brought from Paris. "J 

Lord Cornwallis, in recommending De Blaquire for a 
peerage, writes : — " Sir J. Blaquire governed this country 
for some years, and he has since held his rank in Dublin 
as a political character of no small consequence. § 

For some notice of the intrigues with which De Blaquire 
had secured influential support to the Union, see "The Rise 
and Fall of the Irish Nation." A few years ago, one of 
his descendants found a trunk of old dusty papers calcu- 
lated to throw great light on the history of the Union. This 
gentleman is said to have offered the entire trunkful 1;p the 
Wellington government for £100 ; his proposal, it is also 
said, was eagerly accepted j and we have heard him ridi- 
culed by his friends for being so sUly as not to have stipu- 
lated for a couple of thousand pounds, which would have 
been acceded to, they allege, with equal alacrity. 

19. Lord Londonderry, father of Lord Castlereagh, was 
an active agent in checking the popular plots of the time ,• 
but that his lordship was not without misgivings as to the 
result may be inferred from the fact, mentioned in the 

* Irish Political Charactera, 1799, p. 150. 

+ Memoirs and Correspondence of Lord Castlereagh, vol. ii., p. 8& 
+ Personal Sketches by Sir Jonak Barrington, vol. i., p. 193. 
§ Cornwallis Corre^Dondence, Letter of July 1 1. 1800. 


" Castlereagh Papers," (iL 331,) that he would not t»ke 
bank-notes in payment of rent. 

20. John Toler, afterwards Lord Norbury, it will be re- 
membered, was counsel for the Sham Squire, in the case 
Higgins V. Magee. It may without much injustice be said 
of him, that for thirty years he performed the triple role of 
bully, butcher, and buffoon. His services in the first capa- 
city proved useful to the then government, and helped him 
far more than his law to judicial elevation.* His old pas- 
sions and prejudices clung to him as a judge ; he browbeat 
timid counsel ; and has been known to suggest mortal 
combat by remarking " that he would not seek shelter be- 
hind the bench, or merge the gentleman in the Chief Jus- 
tice." His relish for a capital conviction was undisguised; a 
document before us mentions the almost incredible fact, that 
at a single assize, he passed sentence of death on one hundred 
and ninety-eight individuals, of whom one hundred and 
ninety-seven passed through the hands of Galvin, the hang- 
man. With tiie black cap on his head, he joked as freely ag 
though it were a cap and beUs. " Ah, my lord, give me a 
iong day," craved a wretched culprit on a certain 20th of 
June. " Tour wish is granted," replied the judge, " I will 
give you until to-morrow, the longest day in the year !" Lord 
Norbury's charges transcend description. " Flinging his 
judicial robe aside," writes Mr SheU, " and sometimes cast- 
ing off his wig, he started from his seat and threw off a wild 
harangue, in which neither law, method, or argument could 
be discovered. It generally consisted of narratives of his 

* Mr Toler's powers of invective were quite startling. When he 
jttered such language in Parliament as this, the licence of his 
tongue elsewhere may be conceived : — "Hadhe heard a man uttering 
out of those doors such language as that of the honourable gentle- 
man, he would have seized the ruf&an by the throat, and lagged 
him to the dust." (Pari. Deb.) 

An extraordinary licence of language was permitted by the Speakei 
in these days. A tradition of the period thus describes the deuun- 
cdation of a certain family : — " Sir, they are all rotten from the 
honourable member who has just sat down, to the toothless hag that 
is now grinning at us from the gallery/'^the allusion being to the 
honourable member's mother. Lord Castlereagh was upbraided 
with impotency by Plunket, in the presence of Lady Castlereagh, 
who occupied a seat in the Speaker's gallery durii^ one of the 
debates on the Union. 


early life, which it was impossible to associate with the 
subject, of jests from John Miller, mixed with jokes of his 
own manufacture, and of sarcastic allusions to any of the 
counsel who had endeavoured to check him during the 

Sir Jonah Barrington mentions that he has seen his 
" racket court " * convulsed with laughter by the appear- 
ance of the chief in a green tabinet coat with pearl buttons, 
striped yeUow and black vest, and buff breeches — the cos- 
tume of Hawthorn in " Love in a VUlage," a character per- 
sonated by Lord Norbury at Lady Castlereagh's masquerade ; 
and he found the dress so cool that he frequently, in after 
years, wore it under his robes. On this particular occasion 
it was revealed accidentally by Lord Norbury throwing 
back his robes, owing to the more than ordinarily heated 
atmosphere of. the court. 

Lord Norbury could sometimes say a good thing. The 
nUanies of the Sham Squire had brought the attorney's 
eraft into deep disrepute. A shilling subscription was 
raised to bury a poor solicitor -. " Here is a guinea," said 
Lord Norbury ; " bury one-and-twenty of them." 

" That Scotch Broom, deserves an Irish stick," exclaimed 
Lord Norbury, in reference to Lord Brougham, who had 
brought before Parliament some unconstitutional conduct 
of which he had been guUty j and at a later period, it ap- 
peared, from the same source, that the old chief had fallen 
asleep on the bench during a trial for murder. In 1827 
he resigned, and in 1831 he died. The late Mr Brophy, 
state dentist, who was present at Lord Norbur/s funeral, 
informed us that when lowering the coffin by ropes into a 
deep grave, a voice in the crowd cried, "Give him rope. 
falore,f boys ; he never was sparing of it to others." As 
a landlord. Lord Norbury was by no means bad ; and in 
his own house he is said to have been gentle and forbearing. 

21. Lord Kingsborough had always been prominently 
zealous in promoting that system of coercion J which, as 

• This was a designation of Lord ITorbury's own. "What'* 
your business ? " a witness was asked. " I keep a racket court." 
" So do I," rejoined the Chief-Justice, puffing. 

t Anglict. in plenty. 

t Flowden'3 Hist, of Ireland, rol. ii., p. 475. 



Lord Castlereagh admitted, aimed to make the United Iriab 
coEspiracy explode.* When the rebellion broke out, Lord 
Kingsborough, as colonel of the North Cork Militia, pro- 
ceeded to join his regiment in Wexford, but was captured 
by the rebels, who held possession of the town. Mr 
Plowden, in his History, states that Lord Kingsborough 
owed his life to the personal interposition of Dr Caulfield, 
Eoman Catholic Bishop of Ferns. But from a statement 
made to us by John Plunket, Esq., of Frescati, whose 
father held rank in the rebel army at Wexford, it would 
appear that Lord Kingsborough's deliverance was not 
whoUy owing to the Bishop.. Lord Kingsborough and an 
English officer were about to be hung at " The Bull's 
Eing," when they pledged their honour to Mr Plunket, 
that, if then liberated, they would do him a similar service 
on a subsequent occasion, which they assured him could 
not be far distant. Lord Kingsborough and his friend 
wrote two letters to this effect ; but when Mr Plunket waa 
afterwards found guilty by a court-martial, the documents 
could not be found. His wife waited on Lord Kings- 
borough to hope he would renew the letter, but the peei 
declined to interfere in any way on behalf of Plunket ; 
while the other ofiScer, whose life had been spared at the 
same time, honourably kept his word. Our informant 
adds, that Mr Plowden, when engaged on his History, 
obtained an interview with the late Mrs Plunket in ordei 
to gather authentic details of the events of which she had 
personal knowledge, but as they were then of recent occur- 
rence, she declined to assist him.f Lord Kingsborough 
subsequently attained celebrity by shooting a person whom 
he detected offering undue familiarities to his sister. Lord 
Kingsborough, his son, died a pauper in the Four Courts 

22. General Cockburn regards Lord Downshire as a 
rotten rung in the step-ladder, and styles him "a very mis- 
chievous enemy to liberty." We think, however, that his 
hostility to the Union goes far to redeem his^ shortcomings. 
His policy on this question so displeased the Government 
that he was dismissed from the lieutenancy of his county, 

• Moore's Life of Lord E. Fitzgerald, p. 110, Paris edit. 

t CommunicE^ted b;^ John Plunket, Eeq., Frescati, Feb 17, 186S. 


from the oolonelcy of his regiment, and even expelled from 
the Privy Council It was further proposed to institute a 
parliamentary inquiry into the conduct of Lord Downshire. 

23. Lord Dillon also pursued a policy in 1800 which 
covers a multitude of poUtical sins. At a meeting of in- 
fluential anti-unionists in Dublin, he proposed that a joint- 
stock purse should be formed for the purpose of out-bribing 
the Government.* Until June 1799, Lord Dillon exercised 
his property and influence, both considerable, in favour of 
the Union. 

24. Mr Trench formed, under curious circumstances, a 
majority of one in favour of the Union. His vote and 
voice disclosed a very painful instance of tergiversation 
and seduction. Mr Trench declared, in presence of a 
crowded House, that he would vote against the minister, 
and support Mr Ponsonby's amendment. " This," observes 
Sir Jonah Bariington, who was an eye-witness of the trans- 
action, " appeared a stunning blow to Mr Cooke, who had 
been previously in conversation with Mr Trench. He was 
immediately observed sidling from his seat, nearer to Lord 
Castlereagh. They whispered earnestly ; and, as if restless 
and undecided, both looked wistfully at Trench. At length 
the matter seemed to be determined on. Mr Cooke retired 
to a back seat, and was obviously endeavouring to count 
the House — ^probably to guess if they could that night dis- 
pense with Mr Trench's services. He returned to Lord 
Castlereagh ; they whispered, and again looked at Mr 
Trench. But there was no time to lose ; the question was 
approaching. All shame was banished ; they decided on 
the terms, and a significant glance, obvious to everybody, 
convinced Mr Trench that his conditions were agreed to. 
Mr Cooke then went and sat down by his side : an earnest 
but very short conversation took place; a parting smile 
completely told the House that Mr Trench was satisfied. 
These surmises were soon verified. Mr Cooke went back 
to Lord Castlereagh ; a congratulatory nod announced his 
satisfaction. But could any man for one moment sup- 
pose that an M.P. of large fortune, of respectable family, 
and good character, could be publicly, and without shama 
or compunction, actually seduced by Lord Castlereagh 

• Flowden's History of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 551, 


under the eye of two hundred and twenty gentlemen ! In 
a few minutes Mr Trench rose to apologise for having in- 
discreetly declared he would support the amendment. He 
added, that he had thought better of the subject ; that he 
had been convinced he was wrong, and would support the 
minister." Mr Trench accordingly became Lord Ashtown. 

25. Dr Duigenan has been already noticed at p. 62, 

26. Of Bishop O'Beime much has been written, but we 
never saw in print some curious details embodied in a let- 
ter, dated April 22, 1857, and addressed to us by the lat» 
Mr William Forde, Town Clerk of Dublin. "I can furnish, ' 
writes Mr Forde, " an interesting anecdote of the early hisr 
tory of that gentleman, which I learned when very young, 
living within two miles of the see house of the diocese of 
Meath. Dr O'Beime was never ordained a Eoman Catholic 
priest, but was educated at the Irish College of Paris with 
a view to his becoming a priest. His brother, Eev. Denis 
O'Beime, was educated at the same time and in the same 
college, and died parish priest of the town of Longford, of 
which his brother was the rector. The name of the parish 
in the Church is TemplemichaeL The history of the bishop 
in early life was, that having suspended his studies, owing 
to Hi-health, he returned home for a couple of years, and 
was returning to the college, when the following incident, 
which altered his destinies for Ufe, occurred to him : — He 
was travelling on foot through Wales, when the day became 
very boisterous and rainy, and took shelter in a poor inn 
on the wayside, and after ordering his dinner, which was a 
small bit of Welsh mutton, he went into a little sitting- 
room. In some time two gentlemen came in also for shel- 
ter, (they were on a shooting party, and were driven in by 
the violence of the storm,) and asked the woman of the 
house what she could give them for dinner. She replied 
she had nothing but what was at the fire roasting, and it 
was ordered by a gentleman in the next room, adding in a 
low tone, she believed he was an Irishman ; whereupon one 
of the gentlemen exclaimed, ' Damn Paddy — he have 
roast mutton for dinner while we must fast ; we will take 
it,' whereupon O'Beime walked down from his room, and 
asked who damned Paddy, .and insisted upon getting his 


dinner, and added they should not have it by force, but if 
they would take share of it on his invitation he would freely 
give it, and they were heartily welcome ; on which they 
accepted the invitation, provided he would allow them to 
give the wine, which they assured him was very good, not- 
withstanding the appearance of the place. They aU retired 
to the sitting-room, and the two gentlemen began convers- 
ing in French, whereupon O'Beime interrupted them, and 
informed them that he understood every word they uttered, 
and they might not wish that a third person should know 
what they were speaking about, and then the conversation 
became general, and was carried on in French, of which 
O'Beirne was a perfect master. They inquired of him 
what were his objects in life, when he told them his his- 
tory — that he was a farmer's son in Ireland, and his destiny 
was the Irish Catholic priesthood. When they were part- 
ing, one of the gentlemen asked would he take London on 
his way to Paris, to which he replied in the afiSrmative. 
He then gave him a card with merely the number and the 
street of his residence, and requested he would call there, 
where he would be very happy to see him. O'Beirne 
walked to London, which took him a considerable time, 
and on arriving there did not fail to call at the place indi- 
cated by the card. When he got to the house, he thought 
there must be some mistake ; biit nothing daunted, he 
rapped, and met a hall porter, to whom he presented the 
card, and told him how he came by it, but supposed it was 
a mistake. The porter replied : 'Oh no I his grace expected 
you a fortnight ago, and desired you should at once be 
shown in,' and ushered him in accordingly to the study, 
where his Grace the Duke of Portland introduced himself 
to him. He had been appointed Governor of Canada, and 
O'Beirne's knowledge of the French language, and his edu- 
cation and general information, were matters that made 
him a desirable private secretary to deal with the French 
Canadians, and O'Beime accepted the proposal of going 
out private secretary to the Duke of Portland. It was in 
Canada he apostatised and became a minister of the Estab- 
lished Church. I understood aU this from a clergyman. 
To the Duke of Portland O'Beirne owed his promotion in 
the Irish Church, first, to the parish uf Templemichael, 

214 AtPENDIX. 

then to the see of Ossory, and finally his translation to the 
see of Meath, then valued at more than £8000 per annum, 
lie was married to a Scotch lady, a daughter of General 
Stuart. He had one son and two daughters. Neither of 
them married. At the time of his death he was an uncom- 
promising opponent of Catholic emancipation. I believe 
his brother the priest died before him. I always heard 
that it was Bishop O'Beirne married the Prince of Wales 
and Mrs Fitzherbert, and that the marriage took place in 
France, where the party went to have the ceremony per- 

Since the previous edition of this book appeared, we 
received an interesting letter from Sir William Cope, 
which, with some remarks suggested by it, we have the 
less hesitation in giving, inasmuch as the Athenceum, in 
noticing our volume, regretted that we did not furnish 
more particulars of O'Beirne and some others : — 

" I have been looking over your book to-day, and I 
venture to point out to you that Mr Forde's account of 
Bishop O'Beirne must be erroneous in some particulars. 
He never could have married George IV. to Mrs Fitz- 
herbert, for that marriage was solemnised by a Catholic 
clergyman in 1786 or 1787 ; whereas I see, by the ' An- 
nual Kegister,' that, 'on 1st November 1783, the Eev. Mr 
O'Beirne, Secretary to the First Lord of the Treasury, was 
married to Miss Stuart, only surviving chOd of the Hon. 
Colonel Francis Stuart, brother to the Earl of Moray. 
If the First Lord of the Treasury was the Duke of Port- 
land, (who came into office in April of that year,) Mr 
Forde's story of his being O'Beirne's patron is confirmed. 
But surely the Duke of Portland never was Governor- 
General of Canada, — ^the Duke of Bichmond was, but not 
till after O'Beirne was a bishop. I remember his two 
daughters living, some twenty or thirty years ago, a few 
miles from this. O'Beirne, in 1780, wrote a comedy 
called ' The Generous Impostor,' which was acted only 
about six times. In a good life of him in the ' Annual 
Kegister' for 1822, it says that it was with Lord Howe he 
was in America during the American war ; and it is there 
said that the Howes introduced him to the Duke of Port- 
land. Excuse my remarking this ; but your work is so 

BISHOP o'beikne. 215 

interesting, that anything that adds to its accuracy may be 
acceptable to you."* 

For half a century the opinion expressed by Sir William 
Cope very generally prevailed, that some Roman Catholic 
priest performed the perilous duty of marrying the Prince 
of Wales to Mrs Fitzherbert, for, from that lady's strong 
religious convictions, it was assumed that no clergyman 
but one of her own Church would satisfy her scruples. 
Lord Cloncurry, in his " Personal Recollections," + thinks 
that the Abb6 Taylor was the party; while the " Memoirs 
of Lady Blessington," (ii. p. 100,) throws suspicion on the 
Abbs Campbell, adding that Mrs Fitzherbert's scruples 
would never have been allayed without the intervention of 
a Catholic priest. But Lord Russell, in his " Memorials 
of C. J. Fox," and the Hon. C. Langdale, in his " Memoirs 
of Mrs Fitzherbert," materially weaken these rumours by 
stating that the officiating minister was a clergyman of the 
Church of England, and that the certificate of the mar- 
riage, attested by two witnesses, is dated December 2% 
1785. The biographer of Mrs Fitzherbert is, we believe^ 
ignorant of the clergyman's name, though he announces 
the interesting fact that the Pope recognised the marriage 
as a perfectly valid one. Dr O'Beirne is very likely to 
have been the officiating party. He passed a considerable 
portion of his early life in America, but in 1784 we find 
him holding livings in Cumberland and Northumberland. J 
He was at this time much identified with the Opposition, 
of which the Prince was an influential member. " Once a, 
priest always a priest" is a well-known Catholic tenet ; 
and Mrs Fitzherbert can hardly fail to have shared an im- 
pression which generally prevailed, that Dr O'Beirne had 
been ordained a priest. This idea would have proved a 
very effective sedative to her scruples. Lord Brougham de- 
clared in the House of Commons that " Dr O'Beirne had 
been originally a priest, but afterwards becoming a Pro- 

* Letter from Sir W. H. Cope, Bart., February 23, 1866. 

+ Personal Beoolleotiona of "Lord Cloncurry. 2d Ed., p. 175. We 
are assured by J. R. Corballis, Esq., Q.C, a near relation of the Abb^ 
Taylor, and who was closely associated with him at Rome, that he 
never knew the Abbe to be suspected of having married the Prince 
to Mrs Fitzherbert. 

X Walker's Hibernian Magazine, March 1800, p. 145. 


testant, he was made a bishop without any further ordina- 
tion."* That Dr O'Beime had been a priest, is, we believe, 
untrue ; but there can be little doubt that he had attained 
deacons' orders when studying for the priesthood in the 
Irish College at Paris. 

Mr Forde, father of an able theologian, the Very Kev. 
Monsignore Forde, adds in a postscript which we omitted 
to quote when originally printing his letter : — " You 
seem not to be aware that a marriage by the parties 
themselves was a good marriage, and a legal marriage, 
without the intervention of a clergyman, before the Coun- 
cil of Trent was received in Ireland, and that it has not 
been yet received in England. I knew Dr O'Beime j he 
was in his manner a perfect and accomplished gentleman. 
He was an admirable writer; I have seen some of his 
pamphlets. The late Dr Plunket, Bishop of Meath, was 
Professor in the Irish College when Dr O'Beime was a 
student in it ; and, as they lived within two miles of each 
other, the usual courtesies of life were observed- between 
the rival prelates. The Professor outlived the pupil 
several years." Bishop O'Beirne died in 1822. 

27. Wm. Beresford, D.D., another prominent member 
of the inexhaustibly influential sept of the Beresfords, was 
consecrated Bishop of Dromore in 1780 ; Bishop of Ossory 
in 1784, and translated to the archbishopric of Tuam in 
1795. He married the sister of Lord Chancellor Clare, 
and was created Lord Decies in December 1812. This 
influential prelate died September 6, 1819 ; and his per- 
sonality was sworn to as £250,000. 

28. Mr Henry Alexander, both a barrister and a banker, 
represented Londonderry in the Irish Parliament. Here 
he was an active member of the secret committee. Having 
successfully promoted the Union, he entered the British 
senate as member for Old Sarum. He signally distin- 
guished himself as an advocate for coercion ; and on the 
8th February 1815, we find him strenuously advocating 
the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland. 
From the " Castlereagh Papers" (i. 348) we leam that Mr 
Alexander was a relation of the Irish rebel, Oliver Bond. 

29. To describe the exploits of the members of that body, 

* Hansard, p. 4i3, vol. xiii., New Serieg. 


styled by General Cockbum, " E n Magistrates," would 

be to ■write the history of the whole, and we are spared the 
painful necessity of detailing, ad nauseam, scenes of revolt- 
ing barbarity. As a specimen of his magisterial colleagues 
and contemporaries, take Mr Thomas Judkin Fitzgerald, 
high sheriff for the county of Tipperary. From the trial 
of Doyle v. Fitzgerald, we leam that the defendant, in the 
street, and for the purpose of flagellation, seized Doyle, who 
was a respectable tradesman in Carrick, In vain he de- 
clared his innocence ; and some of the most respectable in- 
habitants tendered evidence in support of that declaration. 
Doyle was a yeoman, and he begged that Captain Jephson, 
his commanding officer, might be sent for ; the request was 
refused. He offered to go to instant execution if, on in- 
quiry, the shadow of sedition could be advanced against 
him ; but inquiry was declined. Bail was then offered to 
any amount for his appearance, but Mr Fitzgerald would 
not be balked in the sport of which he had a foretaste, 
and declaring that he knew Doyle by his face to be a 
'' Carmelite traitor," tied him to the whipping-post, where 
he received one hundred lashes until his ribs appeared ; his 
knee-breeches were then removed, and fifty more lashei 
administered. Doyle's entire innocence was afterwards 
proved. He appealed at the Clonmel assizes for redress ; 
the facts appeared to demonstration ; but an Orange jury, 
packed by the sub-sheriff, acquitted the high sheriff, Mr 
Judkin Fitzgerald. 

Mr Wright, a teacher of the French language, employed 
both by public schools and private famiKes, having called 
»n Mr Fitzgerald, the latter drew his sword, exclaiming, 
"Down on your knees, rebellious scoundrel, and receive 
your sentence" — which was to be flogged first and shot 
finally. Wright surrendered his keys, and expressed him- 
self willing to suffer any punishment if his papers or conduct 
revealed proof of guUt. " What I you Carmelite rascal," 
exclaimed the high sheriff, " do you dare to speak after 
sentence V He then struck him and ordered him to prison 
The next day, when brought forth to undergo his sentence, 
Wright knelt down in prayer, with his hat before his face. 
Mr Fitzgerald snatched the hat from him and trampled on 
it, seized Wright by the hair, dragged him to the earth, 


kicked l^itn and cut him across the forehead with his sword, 
then had him stripped naked, tied up to the ladder, and 
ordered him fifty lashes. Major Eial came up as the fifty 
lashes were completed, and asked the cause. Mr Ktzgerald 
handed him a note written in French, saying, he did not 
himself understand French, though he understood Irish, 
but Major Eial would find in that letter what would justify 
him in flogging the scoundrel to death. Major Rial read 
the letter. He found it to be a note for the victim, which 
he thus translated : — 

" I am extremely sorry I cannot wait on you at the hour 
appointed, being unavoidably obliged to attend Sir Laurence 
Parsons. — Yours, Baeon de Clues." 

" Notwithstanding this translation,'' observes Mr Plow- 
den, "Mr Fitzgerald ordered Wright fifty more lashea 
which were inflicted with such peculiar severity, that the 
bowels of the bleeding victim could be perceived to be con- 
vulsed and working through his wounds ! Mr Fitzgerald, 
finding he could not continue the application of his cat-o'- 
nine-tails on that part without cutting his way into his 
body, ordered the waistband of his breechfes to be cut 
open, and fifty more lashes to be inflicted. He then left 
the unfortunate man bleeding and suspended, while he wenV 
to the barrack to demand a file of men to come and shoot 
him ; but being refused by the commanding officer, he came 
back and sought for a rope to hang him, but could get none 
He then ordered him to be cut down and sent back to 
prison, where he was confined in a dark small room, with 
no other furniture than a wretched pallet of straw, without 
covering, and there he remained seven days without medical 
aid !"* 

Wright brought an action and — mirahile dictu — obtained 
a verdict ; but the efiect of it was neutralised by the open 
indemnification of Mr Fitzgerald for certain acts done by 
him not justifiable in common law.t He received from the 
crown a considerable pension for his ultra-loyal services in 
1798, and on August 5, 1801, was created a baronet.} 

• Trial of Wright v. Fitzgerald, Plowden's History of Ireland, 
<ro). ii., p. 646, &c. 
t Bamngton's Personal Sketches, vol. iii., p. 267. 
t Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, p. 399. 

MAJOR SlftK. 219 

Tipperary is full of traditions of his excessive political 
zeaL One represents him equipped in cocked hat and 
sword, mounting the altar steps of old Latin chapel during 
the most solemn part of the mass, and endeavouring to 
recognise among the congregation some unfortunate man 
whom he desired to scourge.* On another occasion he 
ascended the altar in Tipperary chapel during the delivery 
of an exhortation by the parish priest. Mr Fitzgerald for 
convenience placed his three-cocked hat on the same bench 
which bore the Blessed Sacrament, and it was thought, at 
the time, an act of most singular daring on the part of the 
priest to remove the terrorist's hat and hand it to an aco- 
lyte.t It was said that Mr Fitzgerald used to steep his 
cat-o'-nine-tails in brine before operating. "I have preserved 
the country," he boasted. " Eather say that you have 
pickled it," replied Jerry Keller. 

Cox, in his Magadne, furnishes a criminatory obituary of 
Sir Thomas Judkiu Fitzgerald, who, execrated by the people, 
whom he had stung to fury and madness, sank into his 
grave September 24, 1810. "The history of his life and 
loyalty," observes Cox, " is written in legible characters on 
the backs of his countrymen."J The painful manner in 
which the lives of the late baronets of this family termi- 
nated, presents some remarkable coincidences. Sir John 
Judkin Fitzgerald, son of the terrorist, was drowned in the 
Nimrod in its passage from Bristol to Cork. His son. 
Sir Thomas Judkin Fitzgerald — reduced to pecuniary straits 
— opened a blacking manufactory, and committed suicide 
in the year 1864 ; and again, his son, a fine boy, hanged 
himself accidentally while playing with " a swing" in the 
garden at Qolden nLlls.§ 

30. Major Sirr, who, acting upon the information sup« 
plied by Francis Higgins, shot at and captured Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald, is no stranger to the reader of these 
pages. For a pithy rtsrnn^ of his life he would do well 

• Letter of Eev. Dr Fitzgerald, P.P., Ballinagany, County Tip- 
perary, July 10, 1865. 

+ Statement of Bev. W. Wall, P.P., Clonoulty, Caahel, September 

+ Irith, Magazine, October 1810, p. 482. 

§ Letter from W. L. Hackett, Eaq., H,A., Es-Ha,,Tor, dated 
"Clonmel, April 16, 1866." 


to consult Curran's speech in the case of Hevey versus 

"For the purpose of this trial," said he, "I must carry 
back your attention to the melancholy period of 1798. It 
was at that sad crisis that the defendant, from an obscure 
individual, started into notice and consequence. It is in 
the hotbed of public calamity that such portentous and in- 
auspicious products are accelerated without being matured. 
From being a town-major, a name scarcely legible in the 
list of public incumbrances, he became at once invested 
with all the powers of absolute authority. The life and 
the liberty of every man seemed to have been surrendered 
to his disposal. With this gentleman's extraordinary ele- 
vation begins the story of the sufferings and ruin of the 

The cessation of the rebellion, and the introduction of a 
milder system of government, found Henry Charles Sirr's 
occupation gone. He became a "picture fancier," culti- 
vated the fine arts, frequented auctions, accumulated fossils 
and minerals, sonorously sung psalms, and exhibited the 
whites of his eyes rather than the blackness of his heart. 
Fifty years ago he was appointed police magistrate of 
Dublin, and continued to discharge its duties until his 
death in 1841, when "the remains of the assassin of Lord 
Edward,"* writes Mr Gilbert, "were deposited in Wer- 
burgh's churchyard," the same mortuary which contains 
Lord Edward's bones. " The stone, shaded by a melan- 
choly tree," he adds, " does not explicitly state that the 
town-major of '98 was buried under it, and appears to have 
been originally placed over the corpse of his father, who 
preceded him in that office, and was also distinguished by 
lis bad character, a fact unknown to the biographers of 
uord Edward Fitzgerald. A more infamous tool than 
Henry Charles Sirr was probably never employed j the 

* This phrase is not, perhaps, strictly accurate. Mr Rohert 
Travers, A.M., M.B., the present professor of medical jurisprudence 
in the university of Dublin, addressing the writer of these pages, 
says — " An inquest was held in Newgate on the body of Lord E. 
Fitzgerald, and on the evidence of Surgeon Leake, a verdict returned 
of death from water in the chest. This fact is not known to many. 
I have sometimes mentioned it to my class when lecturing on forensic 

SANDTS. 221 

bare relation of his atrocities would far exceed the wildest 
fiction which ever emanated from the brain of the most 
morbid romancist." 

31. Identified with Major Sirr in most of his plans, 
perfidies, and perils, all that has been said of Sirr is appli- 
cable to Swan, with this exception, that Sirr professed to 
le a saint, while his deputy Swan, frank, jolly, and out- 
spoken, claimed to be no better than an " honest sinner." 
Of Swan's efficiency as a rebel-hunter, the Sham Squire 
was a constant eulogist ; and in one of his laudations, it is 
stated that the Government proved their appreciation of 
" Major Swan's" services by awarding him the commission 
of the peace for every county in Ireland. 

32. Major Sandys, perhaps the worst member of that 
terrible triumvirate of soirdisant majors, who daily stung 
the people to madness and death, filled the office of 
Governor of the Provost, the Bastile of Ireland. Here, 
cruelties the most revolting were hourly practised under 
the direction of Major Sandys, who, as the brother-in- 
law of Mr Cooke, the Under-Secretary of State, enjoyed 
thorough connivance and immunity. Dr Madden asserts 
that indulgences of air, light, and food were sold to the 
state prisoners by Major Sandys, and that he remitted 
tortures at the triangle, on receiving either money, or 
written orders for goods, plate, or pictures, addressed by 
the prisoners to friends outside, The rapacity of Major 
Sandys, especially for plate, proved at last insatiable. 
Curran's memorable speech in re Hevey states, — " A 
learned and respected brother barrister had a silver cup ; 
the Major heard that for many years it had borne an 
inscription of ' Erin go hragh,' which meant ' Ireland 
for ever.' The Major considered this perseverance in guilt 
for such a length of years a forfeiture of the delinquent 
vessel My poor friend was accordingly robbed of his 

These and even graver charges were made by Curran, 
not only in the lifetime of Major Sandys, but under the 
very flash of his eye. "And I state this," exclaimed 
Curran, "because I see Major Sandys in court, and be- 
cause I feel I can prove the fact beyond the possibility of 
denial If he does not dare to appear, so called upon as I 


Lave called upon him, I prove it by his not daring to 
appear. If he does venture to come forward, I will prove 
it by his own oath ; or if he ventures to deny a syllable I 
have stated, I will prove, by irrefragable evidence, that his 
denial was false and perjured." 

A terrible vicissitude, followed by a still more terrible 
disease, overtook the once potential Major Sandys. His 
family begged bread from door to door ; and he himself 
died in extreme destitution and bodily suflfering. 

33. John Giffard, an illiterate and illiberal alumnus of 
the Blue Coat Hospital, began political life, like many a 
better contemporary, as an ardent patriot and "Irish 
Volunteer." He also practised as an apothecary, aa did 
Lucas before him ; but he soon forsook the pestle for the 
pen, and acquired the sole editorial control of an influent!^ 
newspaper, the Dublin Journal, which had been started, 
and for fifty years ably edited, by George Faulkner, ths 
friend of Swift and Chesterfield. Like the Sham Squira 
whom he resembled in more ways than one, Giffard at 
once prostituted the newspaper to the worst purposes of 
the venal party, which ruled supreme in Ireland some 
eighty years ago ; and it has been stated that the paper 
disclosed such violence, virulence, vulgarity, and men- 
dacity, that at the present date its advocacy would be held 
detrimental to the cause of any party. Yet Giflfard was 
preferred to places of honour and emolument. Besides 
holding a lucrative office in the Revenue under the Back- 
Stairs Viceroy, Mr Beresford, Giffard succeeded his brother 
journalist Higgins as Sub-sheriff of Dublin. We have seen 
it stated by Mr Gilbert, that Giffard is understood to have 
received the latter appointment for the express purpose of 
packing the jury which, in 1794, convicted Hamilton 
Eowan. Giffard was called " The Dog in Office," and his 
paper " The Dog's Journal." The artists who caricatured 
Sheriff Higgins were placed under arrest.* The same 
despotic policy pursued Sheriff Giffard's tormentors. The 
following paragraph, dated October 3, 1794, doubtless 
refers to Giffard : — 

" A printer in South King Street was taken into custody 
by Messrs Shee, &c., charged with printing and publishing 
• See p. 71, ante. 


a caricature of a dog in his last moments, with his confe»- 
sion and dying words. The picture and types were taken 
possession of." * 

Hamilton Kowan and Dr William Drennan were then 
under trial by Mr Giffard's juries. The following admis- 
sion we find in the " Beresford Correspondence:" — 

" Government are determined to hang Eowan, if pos- 
sible ; but they have not yet shown any suspicion of any 
person here being concerned in the plot, in order to lull 
them into security. No person knows as much as I now 
tell you, except Lord Westmoreland, the Attorney-General, 
and SackvUle Hamilton." — Beresford Oorre»pondence, vol. 
ii., p. 26. 

GiSard sought to stab with his pen and pike with his 
tongue every friend to national progress. In reply to a 
charge of treason, Grattan thus retorted : — " It proceeds 
from a hired traducer of his country, the excommunicated 
of his fellow-citizens, the regal rebel, the unpunished 
ruffian, the bigoted agitator. In the city, a firebrand ; in 
the court, a Uarj in the streets, a buUy; in the field, a 
coward. And so obnoxious is he to the very party ha 
wishes to espouse, that he is oidy supportable by doing 
those dirty acts the less vulgar refuse to execute." The 
quondam apothecary swallowed this box of bitter pUls. 
In 1817 GiJBFard ceased to edit the Dublin Journal. In 
not less than twenty numbers, the following appeared, 
among other paragraphs, affecting not merely Mr Giffard's 
reputation, but that of the party of which he had long 
been the champion and the proUgi: — " Since Mr Giffard 
ceased, on the 1st of July 1816, to have, directly or indi- 
rectly, any concern with this paper, it has rapidly in- 
creased in circulation, and we are now satisfied that the 
public can fairly appreciate the value of an independent 
print, which wishes to soothe, and not to irritate, the 
angry passions which have so long agitated the country." + 

Giffard amassed a large fortune, and bmlt himself a 
handflome residence, known as Dromartin Castle, Dun- 

34. Lieutenant Hepenstall is the person whom Sir 

* Masonic Magazine for October 1794, p. 383. 
+ J)vblin JoumcU, July 2, 1817. 


Jonah Barrington, in his "Historic Anecdotes of the 
Union," and afterwards in his " Personal Sketches," (vol. 

iii., pp. 267-271,) describes as Lieutenant H "the 

Walking Gallows." This notorious officer, originally an 
apothecary like Qiffard, was a Goliath in stature, and a 
Nero in feeling. If HepenstaU met a peasant who could 
not satisfactonly account for himself, he knocked him 
down with a blow from his fist, which was quite as effec- 
tual as a sledge-hammer, and then adjusting a noose round 
the prisoner's neck, drew the rope over his own shoulders, 
and trotted about, the victim's legs dangling in the air, 
and his tongue protruding, until death at last put an end 
to the torture. These details, almost incredible at the 
present day, have been authenticated by several witnesses, 
and even admitted by HepenstaU himself at the trial of 
Hyland, when Lord Norbuiy complimented him as having 
done no act which was not natural to a zealous, loyal, and 
efficient officer. Prefixed to the Irish Magazine for 1810, 
a picture of HepenstaU, in his capacity of executioner, 
appears. His features, handsome in their conformation 
and seraphic in their expression, present a puzzle to the 
students of Lavater's theory. The print is accompanied 
by a startling memoir of HepenstaU's atrocities, which we 
find corroborated by an article in the Press newspaper of 
January 11, 1798, and copied by Dr Madden. That 
article speaks of HepenstaU as a person weU known by the 
name of "The Walking Gallows." In conjunction with 
higher coUeagues, he had continued, long anterior to the 
outbreak of '98, to goad the people into revolt by such 
brutalities as we have described. HepenstaU did not long 
live to enjoy the interval of repose which succeeded his 
unsleeping vigilance in '98. In 1800, as we are assured 
by Cox, he became afflicted with morbus pedicularis ; his 
body was literaUy devoured by vermin, and, after twenty- 
one days' suffering, he died in great agony. Dr Madden 
says that this event occurred in 1813 j Mr Cox gives 1804 
aa the year ; but the Sham Squire enables us to fix the 
date positively. In his Journal of September 18, 1800, 
Mr Higgins touchingly records : — 

"Died on Thursday night, of a dropsical complaint, 
Lieutenant Edward HepenstaU. of the 68th Eegiment, 


sometime back an ofScer in the Wicklow militia — a gentle- 
man whose intrepidity and spirit during the Ilebellion 
rendered much general good, and himself highly obnozioua 
to traitors." And then follows a tribute tu "the gualitiet 
which endeared Mr Hepenstall to his ■family and friends." 

Luckily, or unluckily, for Hepenstall's memory, his fast 
friend, the Sham Squire, did not write his epitaph, and 
the lieutenant's grave in St Andrew's churchyard is still 
uninscribed. It was once suggested by Dr Barrett that 
the epitaph should be confined to two lines :^- 

" Here lie the bones of Hepenstall, 
Judge, jury, gallows, rope, and all." 

Lieutenant HepenstaU's brother, who survived him for 
a few years, received a large pension soon after from the 
Crown. The relict of the latter was married, by Arch- 
bishop Agar, to Dr Patrick Dnigenan, as we gather from 
an entry in Donnybrook Parish Eegister, dated October 
19, 1807, and printed in the Kev. B. H. Blacker's work 
descriptive of the locality. 

35. " Spectacle Knox," as General Cockbum styles him, 
is Alexander Knox, whom Lord Macaulay calls " a re- 
markable man." He began his career as assistant private 
secretary to Lord Castlereagh, in whose correspondence 
and that of Mr Wilberforce a mass of his letters may be 
found, to say nothing of several volumes ostensibly de- 
voted to the preservation of his epistles. Mr Knox drew 
up the report of the Secret Committee, and made himseU 
generally useful as a scribe during the reign of terror in 
Ireland. When the late Sir Eobert Peel came to Ireland 
as Chief Secretary, accompanied by a young and beautiful 
wife, Mr Knox fell wildly in love with her. He was fully 
sensible of the madness and folly of his passion, from 
which he strove to fly, but in vain. In a state of tempor- 
ary mania, he nearly destroyed himself by an act of bodily 
mutilation. Our authorities for this story are the late 
Surgeon Peile of Dublin and Dr Labatt, who profession- 
ally attended Mr Knox, and communicated the facts to an 
eminent physician still living. Knox, who realised in hit 
own person the story of Combabus, survived for many 
years after, but the vigour of his intellect had sunk, aiid 
his eye had lo$>t its former sparkle. 



36. Captain Armstrong. The arrests at Bond's were 
followed by the betrayal ai^d execution of John and Henry 
Sheares. To those hapless victims — brothers by blood, and 
barristers by profession — Oaptain J. W. Armstrong, of 
the King's County Militia, had, with vampire instinct, 
obtained an introduction through the agency of a mutual 
friend. Carried away by the ardour of youth and the 
strong revolutionary current of the time, they unreservedly 
expressed their projects. Armstrong fanned the flamc^ 
helped their plans with hints derived from military read- 
ing and experience, wormed himself into their confidence, 
partook of their hospitality, mingled with their families, 
and, as has been stated by Mr Curran, fondled on his 
knee the child of the parent whom he had marked out for 
death j whUe, to quote the reminiscence of one of the 
family, Mrs Sheares sang at the harp for his amusement. 
Armstrong received promotion, a commission of the peace, 
and a pension of £500 a year. Fifty-six years subsequent 
to this tragedy, we heard with surprise that Armstrong 
was still alive ! The late Maurice E. Leyne, addressing 
the present writer in 1854, says, " I saw the old scoundrel. 
Captain Armstrong, travelling by boat from Limerick. 
He was a passenger, and was attended by a body-guard of 
two policemen with loaded arms. He was the object of 
much observation and whisperings while on board; and 
as he was leaving the packet at, I think, Banagher, 
one of the boatmen, with vengeful malice, addressed him 
as ' Mr Sheares,' pretending he had mistaken his name. 
He was known as ' Sheares Armstrong ' among the 

Captain Armstrong's incorrigible longevity had heartily 
wearied and disgusted the Treasury. At length, in 1858, 
he died, after having drawn altogether about £30,000. 

37. Thomas Eeynolds has been already noticed, p. 148, 
et seq., ante. 

38. To William Cope the same remark applies. 

39. Of Justice Godfrey there is little of interest to telL 
An instance of his magisterial activity may be found in 
the Dublin, Magazine for December 1799, p. 378. And 
with this remark we conclude our explanatory notes to 
General Cockburn's " Step-Ladder." 

ttEYNOLDS. 227 

It Avill be observed that Sir George Coekburn, in his 
list of the government of Ireland during the reign of ter' 
ror, makes no allusion to the Viceroy whom John Magee, 
for having styled "the cold-hearted and cruel Camden," 
was prosecuted by the Orange Attorney-General Saurin, 
and heavily punished. The truth is that Lord Camden 
was a cypher. Watson Taylor acted as private secretary 
to his Excellency at this period, and he mentioned to 
Moore, on the 19th October 1838, that "Lord Camden 
was constantly outvoted in his wish for a more moderate 
system of government by Clare and Castlereagh." Watson 
Taylor, when in Ireland, was more busy writing songs than 
despatches; and we find that, among other effusions, h« 
threw off the well-known piece, " Croppies, lie down." 


The following remarks have been addressed to us by Sir 
William H. Cope, Bart., in vindication of the consistency 
of his late grandfather, Mr WUliam Cope, of whom we 
have spoken at p. 148. After kindly observing, among 
other remarks, that he has read " The Sham Squire and 
the Informers of '98" with "much interest and pleasure," 
Sir William goes on to say : — 

" In your addenda you designate him, on the authority 
of the late General Coekburn, as a 'spy,'* and bracket 
him with persons so infamous as Armstrong and Reynolds. 
I must really claim justice at your hands for his memory. 
A ' spy' is one who enters the enemy's camp in disguise to 
obtain information to use against him. Armstrong was » 

* This epithet of reproach has not been applied by the present 
writer. See note at p. 194, ante. To prevent a very possible mis 
conception in the public mind, we may add, in justice to Sir Wil 
liam Cope, that the title he enjoys forms no part of the recompense 
bestowed by the Qovemment of Lord Cornwidlis on his grandfather, 
William Cope, for the part taken by him in persuading Beynolds to 
become an informer. The late Mr William Cope was a very emi- 
nent merchant of Dublin, and Sir William Cope, his gr.'indson, r*- 
presents one of the oldest English baronetcies. 

228 AttENCDC. 

' spy,' certainly ; ResTiolcb was both a traitor to the cause 
he had espoused, and a spy, by pretending still to act with 
his confederates after he had betrayed them. But ray 
grandfather was not a ' spy.' He had always been, and 
he was especially in 1798, a strong opponent and an out- 
spoken enemy of the United Irishmen, and of the princi- 
ples they professed. As long before as 1792 he had, in an 
assembly of the Corporation of Dublin, as representative 
of the gmld of merchants, moved and carried a series of 
resolutions strongly opposing and condemning the modified 
concessions to Bomau Catholics, then in contemplation. 
These resolutions were communicated officially to all the 
other corporations of Ireland, and they, or similar ones, 
were adopted by most of the grand juries at the ensuing 
assizes. You may disapprove his action as much as I 
regret it ; but at least it proves that he was an open and 
declared antagonist ; and so well known was this, that he 
states that it made him so unpopular among the mercan- 
tile and trading classes of Ireland, as seriously to injure 
the interests of the eminent mercantile firm of which he 
was the head. And my grandfather was well known. In' 
1792 he had paid a fine to avoid the office of Sheriff of 
Dublin. So that had my grandfather even desired to act 
the ' spy,' he was most certainly one of the very last per- 
sons the United Irishmen or the patriotic party would 
have let into their secrets. Even the very day before 
Keynolds's revelation was made to him, being the only 
non-Liberal member of the company assembled at Castle" 
Jordan, Sir Duke Giffard's, he seems to have stated and 
defended his opinions in a long conversation with Lord 
Wycombe, of which he has preserved a minute in the 
papers I have referred to. I hope, therefore, that in any 
future edition of your interesting publication, you will re- 
lieve my grandfather's memory from the execrable name of 
' spy,' however much you may consider him as the avowed 
and active enemy of the cause which was betrayed to him. 
" I may mention that neither my father nor I ever re-- 
teived, directly or indireetiy, any part of the pension^ 
granted to my grandfather. It was granted, as you rightly 
observe, (p. 139,) to his wife, who predeceased him, and> 
to his three unmarried daughters. It eventually centred' 


in Miss Teresa Cope, who, as you truly say, resided and 
died at Khos-y-gar, near Holyhead. Others may enter- 
tain a different opinion as to the enormity of a recom- 
pense for services which, as Thomas Moore observes in his 
'Life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald,' 'it is not too much to 
say, were the means of saving the country to Great Bri- 

" I am quite ready, if you wish it, to submit to you any 
of the papers I have referred to in this letter. I am not 
likely to be in Dublin, but if you should at any time be in 
London, I will wjUingly wait upon you there, and show 
them to you. I have a large number of papers relating to 
the period in question, including Beynolds's letters to my 
grandfather, some of which show his courage not to have 
been greater than his fdeUiy." 

In a subsequent communication with which we were 
favoured by Sir WiUiam Cope, some papers of consider- 
able historic interest and importance were enclosed. The 
following document, which sufficiently explains itself, is 
endorsed by the late Mr Cope — " Thomas Keynolds's state- 
ment of the conversation coming from Castle Jordan, and 
also my statement of the same." 


From original MS. in autograph of Thomas Reynoldi. 

" In the month of February last, [1798,] I travell'd with 
Mr Cope to Castle Jordan the seat of Sir Duke Gifford 
in order to gett Possession of the lands of Corbettstown 
which I became intitled to after the Death of Sir Duke's 
Father and which I had mortgaged to Mr Cope for £5000. 
We dined there as did Lord Wiokcome and some other 
gentlemen. We satt late. The conversation turned much 
on the affairs of Ireland. Mr Cope and I returned next 
Day to Dublin in a Chaise. On the Eoad we chatted of the 
conversation which took place the Day before, and of the 
United Irishmen. In the course of our conversation Mr 
Cope* in the strongest light the distinction of all Civil 
and Eeligious liberty and Property, The violation of all 
the rights of Man, The murders and horrid treatment 
• A word evidently omitted ; probably " pointed ouV' or, " placed,'' 


exercised by the French in every country they went into, 
(tho they went at first as Friends,) sparing neither age, 
sex, or Condition, and from the Daring murders and Bob- 
beries committed by the United men here, tho under the 
curb of the Law, what were we to expect when they 
were unrestrained and joined by that French army enured 
to every crime and enormity. We conversed several hours 
on the subject and the result was, that struck with all he 
said, I determined to quit the Society, and repair my own 
Fault by a declaration of all I knew, and I told Mr Cope 
I thought I knew a man who I could induce by represent- 
ing to him all our conversation to give up the United 
cause, and give intelligence of all he knew of them Mr 
Cope directly said such a man would meritt every honor, 
and Eeward his Coxmtry could bestow on him. I told 
him I would call on him in a Day or two about it. I did 
call on him and gave Mm all the information I knew of, 
telling him to keep secrett who he heard it from, he pressed 
me to come forward myseM but I refused to do so, he 
offered me a seat in Parliament and every honor the 
Country could give me and great wealth if I would come 
forward. I told him I would not on any account that I 
was content as I was, and wanted neither honors nor great 
wealth but that I should be entitled to 500 guineas in 
order to repay me for any Loss I might sustain, as I weU 
knew sooner or later this affair would be known or sus- 
pected by the United men and that I should then quit the 
Country for a time at least, to save my life from them and 
that even then they would attack my house and such of 
my property as they could come at. Mr Cope still pressed 
me to come forward myself and offered great rewards, but 
I allways declined to do so." 

ME cope's statement. 

From the original paper in his autograph, 

" Some time in Feb. Mr R. and we had business with 
Bir Duke Giffords at Castle Jordan. We dined there. 
Lotrk Wycombe,* a Gent. I think of the name of Fitz- 

* Lord Wycombe, afterws^rds Marquis of Lansdowne. See pag<i 
150, ante. 


gerald, who, from his conversation, I did believe had be- 
longed to the Navy, a Mr who, I understood, was 

unde to Lady Gififord, and agent to Sir Duke — I 
think there was another Gent., whose name I did not 
hear, or if I did, don't remember. — Sir D., Mr R, and 
I were the Comp. The conversation after li^dy G. 
quit the room, went on the affairs of Ireland; — and it 
was the general opinion to find fault with the measures 
of Gov' and particularly his Lordship said, the people 
would not be satisfied till there was emancipation and a 
reform. I said I did not know how far it might be pru- 
dent to grant a general emancipation, but as to a Eeform 
in parliam' I did not see how it was practicable to 
make matters better than they were as to the representa- 
tion of the people, or how it could be'effected and apply'd 
to his lordship ; that in many comps. I had been in, no 
mode was ever yet pointed out that would not on argu- 
ments on consideration make matters worse than they 
were at present, but probably his Lordship might be able 
to point out a place that would answer the end — He then 
asked me did I think it fair that a Borough which had 
gone to decay or had not an inhabitant should send two 
members to Kepresent it — To this I replyd that at their 
first institution, they had their use to coimterbalance in 
some degree the power of the Nobles and to aid the King 
against the power of Aristocracy but at this day they had 
their use, for if it was not for such Bor' the atolities 
of the late Lord Chath" and the services he was enabled 
to render his Country could not have been bro' forward, 
or in this Kingdom were it not for the Bor: of Charle- 
mont, the abilities of Mr Grattan would not have been 
bro' forward for the service of his Country-r-That w« 
had a happy Constitution and it would be dangerous to 
make the smallest alteration — That there was a property 
in both Count" that had a right to be- represented — 
That it was not Land, or would it procure a Seat in the 
Legislature for any populous Corporation or City. I 
meant the monied property of both Countrys, and were it 
not for the Bar" that had become private property — this 
considerable stake in the Community would not be repre 
aented. I instanced a man by industry who had acquired 

?32 ^yPENDIX. 

a large money property without connection with Land, 
had a right to a Seat in the Legislature to defend that 
property if he thought it necessary or proper how then 
could he get a Seat if there were not Bor" — ^To this his Lord- 
ship gave no reply, but turned to some other topic, but 
all agreed the people must be satisfied in their objects of 
reformation and emancipation — As I found the opinions 
of all the Comp: here the same and no one inclined to 
point out the practicability I remained sUent. Lord Wy- 
combe mentioned his having a vesseU of his own, and of 
his having been bro' into one of the French ports — but 
that he was soon known and every assistance given him 
— I did not understand that this was at a time the 
Nations were at War — ^When Mr R. and S. retired, I 
talked a little with- him on the conversation that had 
pass'd and told him my opinion that these words reforma- 
tion and emancipation were to which might be added the 
word equality were ruining the kingdom. The next day I 
introduced the same subject again with Mr B. and when 
we got into the Chaise, for we set off walking before the 
family were up and met the Chaise before we got to Clon- 
ara — I talked a good deal of the disturbances of the 
Kingdom and the object of the French being plunder and 
that his property or any mans however zealous he might 
be to obtain the object of emancipation, <Ssc., would not be 
safer than any other — ^I mentioned many of the enonni- 
ties that had been committed by the French on their Be- 
volution and it was a true remark that the first promoters 
of a Revolution never saw the end of it — in !EVance not 
one but what fell victims to their own party or some new 
one that started up — that United Inshmen who were 
now so eager for a change would probably be the first who 
would lose their lives — and tho they depended so much 
on the French, they w^ be deceivd as they had de- 
ceivd every country that had let their Army into them. 
Mr R. agreed and told me so far that he had been chosen 
a Colon' but that he was determined to quit them and tho 
chosen he had never acted or never would — I then said 
to him ' Mr R. you have it in your power to save your 
Country, Come forward like a man and do the good that 
any honest man in the Nation must bless you for' — ^he 


gaid ' it was impossible — he never would' — I said every 
thing that occurred to me in the strongest manner to 
induce him told him the lives he would save, ~and the 
hon"" light in which he would be held that every hon' 
would attend him, that it was a Duty he owed his God 
and hia Country to come forward and stop the effusion 
of human blood, and the dreadful calamities that would 
befal the Country if a civil war took place the man that 
would do it would deserve the highest hon' and the highest 
reward hia Country could bestow." * 

The following extract from a private letter addressed by 
Mr Cope to a friend describes with still more minuteness 
of detail that conversation between him and Beynolds 
which was attended with results so very remarkable. The 
preceding statement seems to have been meant for the 
perusal of the Government; the letter is more familiar 
and unreserved. It will be observed that some remarks 
are repeated which might, without impairing the narrative, 
be omitted, but on consideration we think it better to 
give without mutilation documents of such historic value 
and interest. 

"Dublin, 29tk July 1798. 
"The conspiracy had far advanced, indeed was nearly 
brought to a crisis, much nearer than Government or the 
people not in the secret (who were to be sacrificed) had 

any idea of, and from the. county 

meetings were delegated the members to form a provincial 
meeting. Such was the meeting at Bond's house, and which, 
as it were by a miracle, I had the good fortune to disco- 
ver, by pointing out to Mr Reynolds the horror and devas- 
tation that would foUow such proceedings, which no doubt 
would lead to revolution, and the horrors which attended 

• Thomas Reynolds was an extensive silk-manufaoturer in Dub- 
lin ; bom March 12, 1771 ; died in Paris, August 18, 1886. When 
the rebellion broke out he was living at Kilkea Castle, Athy, 
which had been let to him on advantageous terms by the Duke of 
Leinster, at the instance of his brother. Lord Edward Fitzgerald, 
who enteitained a friendship for Reynolds. Mr Cooke having strongly 
recommended him to Government, he was employed as postmaster 
at Lisbon in 1810, as consul in Iceland i» 1817, and aa consul at 
Copenhagen in 1819. 

234 APl'ENDIX. 

the French helped me not a little in describing what Afould 
be the fate of ourselves. Mr Keynolds resisted every ar- 
gument of mine to come forward and prosecute, which 1 
used with every force I was capable of, after he agreed 
with me in opinion that the consequences would be dread- 
ful. I suspected him to be a United man. I asked him 
if it was not wonderful, that after _ all the murders which 
had been committed, Government could never discover any 
person of consequence to be concerned 1 The wretches 
who form baronial meetings, I said, are not those who 
direct the great machine of destruction that is going for- 
ward ; they are poor illiterate creatures, at least any of 
those who has yet appeared and been ordered to punish- 
ment. They come to be hanged, they can't tell for what. 
They had no enmity to the man they killed ; but they 
would do it again for the same cause, but would tell no 
cause, only they would go with their party. Such as 
these only have Government been able to find out, when 
you and I must know that more enlightened understand- 
ings must set this cruel machine in motion. He smiled. I 
seized the opportunity, and with a bold assertion charged 
him, 'You can save your country.' He said he never 
could come forward, which was acknowledging my charge, 
and I argued from that and tried him at every point to 
bring him forward. First his avarice : I went so far as 
50/m.* Take notice : I had no authority, but I knew 
well the value the information would be to the kingdom. 
He resisted, declaring no consideration on earth would — 
bring him forward. His reason was, he could not leave 
his friends and connections. I then tried his ambition, by 
asking him, was he afraid to leave the society of mur- 
derers, and be noticed by the first men in the kingdom, 
taken by the hand by the Chancellor of Ireland, the 
Speaker of the House of Commons, &c. ? and if he chose 
might command a seat in that house. ' In short,' says I, 
' there is nothing that your ambition or wish could aspire 
to that you may not command. Come forward and save 
your country.' No; but, says he, what you have said 
has filled me with so much horror, that I will turn in my 

* This is believed by Mr Cope's representative to be an abbreviat 
tion for ifiSOOO. 


thoughts how I can effect the good you desire with- 
out coining myself, or bringing any other forward, and he 
would call on me in a day or two. He did so. I renewed 
my application, but in vain. He said he was considering 
now it could be effected, and save any suspicion, for death 
and suspicion, he said, were synonymous. He made me 
solemnly promise I should never mention his name without 
his permission. He then said he could get or would prc- 
'•ail on a friend who would give the information in writing, 
the writing to be copied in his presence and returned. This 
person, he said, must quit the kingdom and his industry, 
and live abroad for a time, and he must have money to 
support him. I said he should have it, 1, 2, or 3000 — 
anything he thought reasonable. He said he looked for 
no such thing for him. I wish to effect the good and stop 
the eSiasion of blood by his means, but don't expect more 
for him than will support bim while he may remain 
abroad, where he cannot use the industry he has been ac- 
customed to here for his support, and he thought 500 
guineas would do it. Which I immediately acceded to, 
and he brought me the accounts, which I copied in his 
presence, discovering the whole of the conspiracy, and con- 
spirators that were to meet at Bond's house 12th of March. 
The rest of the business is tolerably well detailed in the 
trials which I send you." 

The result of Mr Cope's communications with Reynolds 
was the arrest of the Mieen delegates at Oliver Bond's on 
the night of March 12, 1798, and referred to at p. 145 of 
this work. For this bit of secret service he received five 
hundred guineas. From a letter we are about to quote of 
Mr Secretary Cooke to Mr Cope, it is evident that the 
papers found at Bond's, and the evidence then possessed by 
the Government, would not have insured a conviction of 
those apprehended. Reynolds finding the importance of 
his information, and with an appetite, as it would seem, 
sharpened by the five hundred guineas previously pocketed, 
hung back, and rather coquetted with the Government. 
He sold his information and friends bit by bit 

" In reference to the interview at which Reynolda 
brought the papers," writes Sir William Cope, " my late 
mother has told me that my father (being, I believe, on 


leave of absence from his regiment, which was in England) 
lodged (I think) in Charlemont Street, or somewhere in the 
outlets of Dublin ; and that my grandfather used to come and 
spend the evening with them, and that there Eeynolds 
called on him. My mother wondered at this man, whom 
she did not know, calling on my grandfather there, and 
being closeted with him. After Keynolds's revelations came 
to Ught, my grandfather told her the real history of these 
mysterious interviews with the unknown visitor. I sup- 
pose Eeynolds was afraid of calling on my grandfather at 
his house in Merrion Square." 


" Castle, March 29, 1798. 
" My dbae Sm, — Your friend has acted honestly and 
*airly, and has done much good ; but the business is yet 
i)y no means complete. I very much fear, indeed I am 
certain, that it will be impossible to convict the persons 
apprehended without parole evidence. I know the objec- 
tions to come forward as an* witness. But I think, in 
order to save a kingdom, to prevent its becoming va scene 
of anarchy and blood, and being thrown into a state of 
barbarity and slavery, all those objections should be got 
over. The principles which have actuated your friend 
have been fair and honourable ; they are only deficient in 
resolution and effect. If he can work himself up to pro- 
ceed and to come forward in the business, he will attain 
the end he wishes — the salvation of his country. You see 
whatt to a state the poor deluded people are driven by 
their desperate leaders, daily plunging into new crimes and 
atrocities, and daily subjecting themselves to ignominious 
punishments — to banishment, to imprisonment, to death. 
What merit can be greater than to put a stop to the tide 
of enormity ? Is he to put temporary odium against the 
Welfare of the kingdom? Is he to balance his personal 
feelings against the happiness of millions ! If he feels, as 
he does feel, that the system of the United Irishmen (if 
uncheck'd) must end in blood and cruelty, and anarchy 
wd desolation, — If h« is sensible that it cannot be checked, 
* Sic'm orig, t /Sic in orig. 



if the leaders remain triumphant in impunity, is he not 
\ound, by every tie of humanity and justice, to come for- 
tard and defeat the system by the only means by which 
I; can be defeated ? These considerations I hope you will 
inpress upon your friend, with others which wUl more 
forcibly suggest themselves to ypur mind. We have the 
same object — the salvation of the country. And it will be 
surely but a little consolation to your friend, amid the 
calamities of his country, to reflect that he had done some 
good, but suffered his country to be finally ruin'd because 
he declined to do more. — ^Yours, most truly and faithfully, 

"E. Cooke." 
" To Wm. Cope, Esq." 

(Copied from the original in Mr Cooke's handwriting, 
W. H. C.) 

" I find a separate copy of the above letter," writes Sir 
William Cope, " made by my grandfather, and on this is 
a most important endorsement which I have copied for 
you. It mentions the exact sum Beynolds got for his 
information — very different from his son's statements in 
the ' life of Keynolds :' "— 


" This letter mentions that my friend E. before the 
Privy Council, had acted honestly and fairly, and done 
much good ; but I must impress on his mind the necessity 
of his doing more. This was after he had given fair infor- 
mation before the Council, but insisted on his terms with me 
of not coining forward to give parole evidence. I exerted 
say influence, and though Mr Cooke said to me, ' You musl 
get him to come forward; stop at nothing — ilOO,000 — 
.anything, &c.,' I conditioned with Gov' for him for only 
£5000, and £1000 per year, and he. is satisfied. He 
-came forward, at my repeated intercessions, and gave 
.public evidence of such truths as satisfied the natioiL" 

But this note of Mr Cope's anticipates matters. Mi 
I Secretary Cooke's mors^ arguments failed to convince 
.Reynolds to the extent desired by that able diplomatist. 


Pressure of a more telling character was now brought to 
bear upon Eeynolds. The military were sent to his resi- 
dence, Ejlkea Castle, " at free quarters," which Lord Com- 
wallis said was but another name for " robbery ;" and some 
days later tie arch-informer himself was placed under 

The following letter from Mr Cope to Reynolds, in reply 
to his complaint that military possession should have been 
taken of Eilkea Castle, is without date ; but an entry in 
the " Life of Reynolds," (vol. ii., p. 206,) enables us to fix 
this incident as having occurred on April 21, 1798 :• — 


" Copy of a L' from W*" Cope to Tho"' R. in ans' to one 
from him, complain' of the sold" being at free quar- 
ters at Eilkea Castle. This JJ was calculated by the 
writer to show R.'s friends, whUe collecting informa- 
tion for W. C, which he was to communicate from time 
to time to W. C. 

" My dear Sir, — I lost no time in communicating the 
depredations which had been committed on you by the 
military. Mr Cooke said that gentlemen who had not 
endeavoured to repress the spirit of rebellion in the country, 
must expect to feel the bad effects in the first instance of a 
civil war. I told him it would irritate, so far as might 
possibly make bad subjects of those who were good. He 
could not answer for enormities that might be committed 
in suppressing that inclination to rebel, which had mani- 
fested itself in many parts of the country, but he would be 
much mistaken if the good and loyal suffered — if those 
who were not so disposed, felt inconvenience, it was only 
giving them a specimen of what they might expect if the 
French made good a landing ; — for then the French army 
would ransack and plunder, as well as our own, ruin and 
flestruction would come home to every man's door, and 
the gentlemen who encouraged the means, which created 
the necessity of quartering the army, would find that they 
would not be spared by their new Mends, more than the 
good old Qovernitt' under which we were all secure and 


happy. Their object was plunder, and In the pursuit, they 
would take it where they could find it. Therefore, those 
who have encouraged the spirit of disaffection to our king 
and happy constitution, will feel in the first instance all 
the calamities of a civil war, in the preparations of Go- 
vemm' to defend the good and loyal from the distresses 
that must be the natural result of an enemy landing in 
the country. You complain now, (feeling the distress) at 
the military being quartered on you — but what has created 
the necessity of this — the gentlemen in the country not be- 
ing active in suppressing nightly meetings of the lower 
orders, and preventing them as far as was in their power, 
in their respective neighbourhoods, from getting arms. 
Let me tell you, sir, Gov' has information that in the dis- 
trict in which you inhabit, there are 8000 men, all of whom 
have arms, each man the possessor and concealer of his 
own, ready to come forward on a landing ; is it reasonable, 
or would it be just that Gov' with this knowledge, should 
tamely lye by, without using efforts to get at these arms, 
and prevent them being used against the good and loyal 
subjects of this country 1 Is it to be supposed, that the 
gents, who have distinguished themselves for their loyalty, 
should in the first instance, feel the evil effects of a 
civil war, by having soldiers quartered on them t No, it ia 
those who by their supineness or worse conduct, have 
rendered themselves suspected not to be true and loyal, 
that must first feel the calamity they have created. It is 
now no time to hesitate, every man must take his part, 
One expression in your letter inclines me to believe you 
must have given some cause for the depredations that havf 
been committed on you ; ' that if you had committed any 
fault, you have surely been severely punished.' I said 
everything I could to clear you of being among the num- 
ber of the guilty encouragers to rebellion — ^if this was 
made manifest on convincing proofs given of loyalty and 
affection. I was told I would find Govemm' would hk 
grateful, — for whUe they punished their enemies, they 
would be grateful to their friends. 

" Endorsed by Mr Cope — 
" L' from W. C. to Tho'- Reynolds on the sold" being 
quartered at his house.'' 


Mr Thomas Eeynolds, junior, in the "Life" of Hs 
father, gives the following account of the free-quarters at 
Kilkea Castle in April 1798 :— 

" These exertions drew upon my father the suspicions of 
Government ; he was thought to possess too much influ- 
ence for an innocent man, and it began to be rumoured 
abroad that Lord Edward Fitzgerald was concealed at 
Kilkea Castle, and that he was collecting . arms there to 
make it a depot. The usual method of punishing sus- 
pected persons was therefore put in force against my 
father. A troop of the 9 th Light Dragoons and a com- 
pany of Militia were sent to live at free quarters at KU- 
kea Castle. They remained there nine or ten days, and on 
their departure my father's steward produced vouchers for 
cattle, corn, hay, and straw, furnished to them to the 
amount of six hundred and thirty pounds. In addition to 
this, the oflBcers lived at my father's table, keeping him it 
close prisoner to his room ; they and their friends drank 
his wine, and each soldier had one pint of wine served out 
to him daily from the well-stocked cellars. The spirits 
had been all destroyed, on the first day, on pretence of 
keeping the soldiers sober. The troops destroyed the 
whole of the furniture ; they plundered a valuable library, 
and converted a small but very valuable collection of pic- 
tures into targets for ball and sabre practice ; and, imder 
pretence of searching for Lord Edward Fitzgerald, they 
tore up the flooring and panelling, and broke down the 
ceilings, converting the castle into a mere wreck. They 
also flogged and tortured my father's servants. Comet 
Love, who was a remarkably tail and powerful man, sus- 
pended the steward over his shoulder, with his sash, until 
life was nearly extinct, to compel him to confess where 
liOrd Edward was concealed. The troops remained while 
there was anything to consume or to destroy ; they then 
withdrew. Such was the reward my father received from 
the Irish Government for the information he gave them 
through Mr Cope — information which enabled them 'to 
preserve the country from total ruin, massacre, and destruc- 
tion.' Can it be credited that any Government would so 
treat their own hired agent, or their avowed, but inde- 
pendent, friend and preserver 'i Is not the conclusion 

KErwOLDS 241 

irresistible that at this time my father was unknown to 
Government ? Mr Moore has the following observation at 
p. 12, voL ii., of the life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald : — 
'How little sparing those in authority would have been 
of rewards, theiif j)rodigality to their present informer 
proved.' He above visitation was the first instalment of 
their prodigality to my father." 

No ! The depredations at Kilkea Castle was not " the 
first instalment of the prodigality" of Government to Mr 
Eeynolds. "I enclose you," writes Sir WiUiam Cope, 
" an ertract of a letter acknowledging the receipt of some 
instalment of Eeynolds's reward. I thought you might like 
to have it. The mention of 'his friend' is evidently only 
intended to mislead any one into whose hands the letter 
might faE Alexander Jafiray, named in it, was a wealthy 
merchant in Dublin. The annuity was probably to be 
paid in the first instance through him and my grand 

The free- quarters, it will be remembered, took place on 
the 21st of April. The date of the annexed letter ia 
March 28:— 


Dear Sir, — ^I did not receive your letter, enclosing 
£127, 88.* till this day, because I have been these two 
days attending my corps, searching all Athy and this end 
of the country for arms. We gott (sic) a good number, 
but none to which we could attach any criminality. I 
have handed what you enclosed to my friend, and I have 
passed him my note for the £100 that is behind, which I 
wiU be able to pay him with the assistance of Mr Jaffray's 
and your proportions of the half-year annuity. 

I hope to be in Dublin next Sunday for some days, on 
account of several gentlemen leaving their houses. This 

* 112 guineas Irish currency. 

t The portion of the letter omitted is without interest, and 
relates only to some matters connected with Lady Qifford's mar- 
nage settlement. 



part of the country has been much disturbed ; therefore 
we have all agreed that for twelve months we will not 
absent ourselves for any length of time from home.— With 
best respects to Mrs Cope and family, I am, dear Sir, your 
ever grateful servant, Thos. Reynolds. 

KiLKEA, Tuesday night. 

An exact copy. 
Addressed — Wm. Cope, Esq., 

Dame Street, 



Endorsed by W. Cope. 
« March 28, 1798, 

Thos. Reynolds." 

The life of Reynolds by his son frequently describes the 
informer's arrest at Athy ; the following letters and theii 
companions form an important supplement to it. 

" The subjoined letter," writes Sir Wm. Cope, in a com- 
munication addressed to the present writer, "shows the 
falsity of the statement in Reynolds's Life, by his son, (vol, 
i., p. 24r8,) that my grandfather, on receiving Reynolds's 
first letter, stating that he was in custody, 'instantly' 
went to the castle, and stated that he was the secret in- 
former, and procured his release. That letter proves that 
Mr Secretary Cooke then knew his name ; and it also 
proves that my grandfather had not acted on his first let- 
ter ' instantly ; ' in fact, it would rather seem from an- 
other letter that my grandfather thought Reynolds was not 
keeping his promise, to reveal all he knew ; and probably 
the whole arrest was a plan of the Government to terrify 
him into further revelations. If so, they succeeded ; and 
more whining productions I never read than his two letters 
while in custody. The date, ' Saturday, 4 o'clock,' on the 
first letter, is ' 5th. May,' the day his son says he was ar- 
rested, and which I see was in 1798, a Saturday." 



" Athy, Saturday, 4 o'clock. 
" My dear Mk Cope,-^I have this day been arrested 
and thrown into the common jail here. 1 don't know on 
what information, but / regwesi, / entreat you, to send down 
here an immediate order for my acquittal and release, and 
future protection. I can only add that, conscious of my 
own Loyalty and steady attachment to Qovernm', and of 

the thorough knowledge you have of both and Mr 

has also made me write thus to you, but I wish you to be 

with Mr and to gett it from him. 

(Signed) T. Keynolds. 

" Remember, Mr Cope, I rely on you to gett this order in 
an hour. I send it off here, on you I rely, to you I look 
for protection now. My hope, my dependence, my exist- 
ence is on you. Gett me instant relief." 

I^ote by Sir W. H. Cope. 

(An exact transcript. The speUing and erasures is in 
the original. The name twice blotted out as if with the 
finger while the ink was wet — it is quite illegible. The 
name was probably " Cooke ;" the space of the blot would 
about take that name. 

The underscoring is in the original.) 


" Give me to my wife and little Baby again, and do with 

the rest of my substance as you please. Mr Cope, 

I'm a Father and a Husband. 

" My dear Mr Cope, — Urged by the danger I am in, I 

have revealed to Colonel Campbell the situation I stand in 

with regard to our Business — and I have solicited him to 

send me to Dublin. You know, Mr Cope, that I am Loyal, 

and that my Loyalty has brought me to this miserable 

situation. I don't know where I am to go, or what is to be 

done with me, or what evidence is against me ; but as you 

know I am suffering for having acted according to the 

orders and wishes Government communicated to me thro 

you ; under their Promise of Protection I hope and expect 

you will now directly wait on Mr Cooke, or the Lord 

244 APPENDrx. 

Lieutenant, avow me to be your Friend, who acting undv 
your and their advice for the good of my Country, am op- 
pressed and thrown into a common Dungeon, and Demand 
from them that Protection you and they knovr' I meritt. 
Instant enlargement and future safety for my Person is al/ 
&a recompence I ask for having done the great and essCft 
tial services to Government which I have done, besides 
by my confinement I am totally prevented from obtaining 
and giving further knowledge. You told me the Lord 
Lieutenant never wished to know me but to do me a ser- 
vice, now is the time. For God's sake don't keep me longer 
in suspense, gett me released." (No signature,) 

"William Cope, Esq., Dame Street, Dublin." 

(An exact transcript. It is on a shabby half-sheet of 
paper, and in parts very illegible. The word omitted — 
" you," probably — ^torn by the wafer in opening.) 

The biographer of Keynolds, after describing his liberation 
from Athy gaol, writes, (vol. iL, p. 174:) — "Upon his 
arrival in Dublin, my father was carried before the Privy 
CouncU, when he was told by the Lord Chancellor that 
the Government were not previously aware that they were 
indebted to him for the timely information they had re- 
ceived from Mr Cope, or he should not have been molested 
by them." 

And at p. 207, the biographer returns to the period of 
his father's arrest and imprisonment at Athy ; and he adds, 
that when Colonel Campbell sent to Dublin for further 
orders in reference to Keynolds, " then it was that Govern- 
ment f/rgt knew him as the man whose timely horror at 
the conspiracy had arrested the miseries it was preparing 
for his country." 

We are further told, (p. 206 :) — " Mr Cope was the only 
•person known to Government as the channel of information 
nntil my father was brought to Dublin in custody from 

But when these passages were penned, it was probably 
not supposed that the facts recorded in Mr Cope's indorse- 
ment on Secretary Cooke's letter would see the Ught. In 
that statement Mr Cope distinctly refers to important in- 


formation personally given by Eeynolds before the Privy 
Council six weeks anterior to the arrest at Athy. 

" I now send you," writes Sir W. Cope, " a letter from 
Mrs Reynolds, which is valuable, as it shows the errone- 
ousness of the statements in Rejmolds's ' Life ' by his son, 
that he made no terms with Government for his informa- 
tion. She was evidently acting for him ; and a letter of 
his, which I also send you, shows that she was empowered 
to act for him in these money matters :" — 


" My DEAR Mr Cope, — The terms which would satisfy 
my mind are : — 

" Immediately after the tryal is over, Mr Eeynolds to 
be enlarged, and letters of introduction to be given to 
him to any part of England he may think it most advis- 
able to retire to, of Ms being a gentleman, loyal in, his 
principles, and a friend to the King and Constitution, 
and recommending him and family to the particular atten- 
tion of the Gentry of the place, and in the meantime to 
be allowed every indulgence for his health and ease of 
mind, in order to alleviate as much as possible the un- 
pleasantness of his confinement. 

" The annuity to commence 25th June 1798, so that he 
may be entitled to receive ^ a year 24th December next, 
the £5000 to be paid to him immediately after the tryal. 

" I have to mention to you a circumstance which, if it 
could with convenience be done, it would, as you well 
know, be of the utmost advantage to us, to advance un- 
till the tryal is over a loan of £1000 pound. We want it 
to go on vidth Sir D. Giffard's law-suit, and to discharge 
our Debts in this Country, which we wish to pay off before 
we go to England ; as we intend to go off immediately 
after the tryal, we shall not then have time to settle these 
matters. I think this might be done thro you without 
much Difficulty. — Your obliged 

"Harriett Reynolds."* 

* Mr Reynolds had married, March 25, 1794, Harriett, daugliter 
of William Witherington, Bsq. of Dublin; another of whose daugh- 
ters became the wife of Theobald Wolfe Tone. 



My deab Mr Cope, — I have scarse an instant to write 
to tell I am ordered to go off this night ; the Packett sails 
at seven o'clock. I must go alone. But we * will, I hope, 
meet in London. I have several other places to go to. 
I have been almost all day receiving orders. Pray givf 
my sincerest respects to Mrs Cope and the Young Ladies. 
/ have desired Harriett to Receive the 300 Bills, and I tvill 
write to her about them from England. I have not time 
^o speak to her of anything. — Your ever Devoted 

Thos. Eeynolds. 

Monday evening, half-past six. 

Thomas Moore, without sufficient evidence to warrant 
his suspicion, suggests that Eeynolds was a very likely 
person to have betrayed Lord Edward Fitzgerald.t Thomas 
Reynolds, junior,* conclusively vindicates his father from 
at least that act of turpitude, adding : " Had he even 
been inclined to commit so base an action, as that of be- 
traying bim, it could not possibly have been in his power 
to have done it." § 

Most people will be of opinion that it was equally base 
of Eeynolds to betray his colleagues as they sat in council 
at Oliver Bond's. The foregoing passage is a full admis- 
sion of Eeynolds's baseness by the son, who, in two volumes 
filled with most scurrillous censure of Moore, Curran. 
HoweU, and every other writer who stigmatised the base- 
ness of Eeynolds, undertakes to justify his name. 


(See p. 125, et seq.) 

Among the documents relating to Francis Higgins, pre- 
served in the Eegistry of Deeds Office, Dublin, are several 

• Reynolds and his wife. Sir William Cope informs us that he 
is almost certain his grandfather never met Reynolds in London, or 
ever saw him afterwards. 

+ Life and Death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, voL ii, p. 43. 

J Life of Thomas Reynolds, vol. iL, pp. 216, et seq. 

§ Ibid., vol. ii., p. 22S 


mortgages from Thomas Magan to the Sham Squire, in- 
cluding one for £2300, and another for ^£1000. One of 
the -witnesses is Francis Magan. Bichard Daly, the lessee 
of Crow Street Theatre, was also pecuniarily accommo- 
dated at dififerent times by Mr Higgins ; and, in 1799, we 
find Daly, then styled " now of the Me of Man," mort- 
gaging liis house in Harcourt Street to Shamado. We also 
find a mortgage to Higgins from Charles Kendal Bushe 
in 1799, and several bonds of Sir John Ferns, and a pro- 
missory note of the Bight Hon. John Foster, " late Speaker 
cf the House of Commons," are recited in the marriage 
settlement of the lady who was chief legatee of Higgins, 
and whose name we have hitherto refrained from mention- 
ing. In the latter deed, dated Sept. 6, 1802, the remark- 
able fact also transpires, that this lady received, in recog- 
nition of the Sham Squire's services, a pension of £300 
per annum, charged on the Irish Establishment. Owing 
to extraordinary circumstances, the pension continues to he 
paid to this hour. On the 10th December 1797, Lord Oar- 
hampton, whose intimacy with Shamado, Magee detected 
in 1789, secured the Squire as a neighbour by setting to 
him the lands of Hartstown and Barnageath, near Luttrels- 
town. The lease of the Sham Squire's house in Stephen's 
Green describes it as next door to that occupied by the late 
Counsellor Harward, (see p. 7, ante,) and adjoining Lord 
Earlsfort's lawn. Bents seem to have been then compara- 
tively low. The Sham Squire guaranteed to pay for his house 
in Stephen's Green £30 fine, and £55 a year ; while the 
rent of his house in Boss Lane, " bounded on the north 
by Darby Square," was £38 per annum. With all his 
cunning, the Sham Squire blundered his will. "Two 
witnesses" seem to have been in those days insufficient ; 
and the property was legally adjudged to Francis Higgins, 
"formerly of Downpatrick, and now of Philadelphia," 
first cousin and heir-at-law" of the Sham Squire. The 
Court of Chancery was appealed to, and some arrangement 
seems to have been come to between the litigants j for an 
assignment is preserved in the Registry Office from " the 
heirat-law" of the Sham Squire to one of the parties to 
whom the property was bequeathed. 



(P. 135, ante.) 

The "Cornwallis Correspondence," published in 1859, 
confirms the allegation that Leonard MacNally, the con- 
fidential law-adviser to, and eloquent counsel for, the 
leaders of the Irish Eebellion of 1798, was in the pay of 
the unscrupulous Tory Government of that day, and basely 
betrayed the secrets of his confiding clients. MacNally 
had been himself a member of the Whig Club and the 
Society of United Irishmen, and went so far as to chal- 
lenge and fight Sir Jonah Barrington, who had indulged in 
stinging animadversion of it. He was apparently a stanch 
democrat, and enjoyed the most unlimited confidence of 
the popular party. He survived until 1820; and with 
such consummate hypocrisy was his turpitude veiled, that 
men who could read the inmost soul of others never for a 
moment suspected him. The late W. H. Curran, in the 
Life of his father, (L, 384, 385,) pronounces a brilliant 
eulogium on "the many endearing traUs" in MacNally's 
character, and adds that he (W. H. Curran) is filled with 
" emotions of the most lively and respectful gratitude." 
We farther learn that " for three-and-forty years Mr Mac- 
Nally was the friend " of Curran, and that " he performed 
the duties of the relation with the most uncompromising 
and romantic fidelity." Years after, when the late D. 
Owen MaddjTi urged W. H. Curran to bring out a new 
edition of the Life of his father, he replied that it would 
be difiicult to do so, as he should have to cancel the pas- 
sage to which I have referred, and indulge in severe reflec- 
tions upon the memory of MacNally, a near relation of 
whom was practising in the court where Mr W. H. Curran 
sat as judge. Curran's regard for MacNally was steadily 
consistent. In 1807, on the accession of the Whigs to 
power, Mr Curran exerted the large influence which he 
possessed to obtain a silk gown for his friend. The Duke 
of Bedford, however, who was then viceroy, having dis- 
covered the base compact which subsisted between his 
Tory predecessors and MacNally, rejected the claim. But 
the reasons for the refusal were not then known, and the 


popular party regarded as a grievance this treatment of 
their favourite counsel Charles Phillips, who practised 
for many years at the same bar with MacNally, thus 
notices, in one of the last editions of " Curran and his 
Contemporaries," the report that MacNally had a pension ; 
— " The thing is incredible. If I was called upon to point 
out, next to Curran, the man most obnoxious to the 
Government, — who most hated them, and was most hated 
by them, — it would have been Leonard MacNally, — that 
MacNally who, amidst the military audience, stood by 
Curran's aide while he denounced oppression, defied power, 
and dared every danger ! " 

After the death of MacNally,* his representative claimed 
a continuance of the secret pension of £300 a-year, which 
he had been enjojdng since the calamitous period of the 
rebellion. Lord Wellesley, the first really liberal viceroy 
which Ireland possessed, demanded a detailed statement 
of the circumstances under which the unholy agreement 
had been made, and after some hesitation it was furnished. 
The startling truth soon became known. O'Connell an- 
nounced the fact publicly, and used it as an argument for 
dissuading the people from embarking in treasonable pro- 

The MS. volume containing " An Account of the Secret 
Service Money Expenditure," discloses the frequent pay- 
ment of large sums to MacNally, irrespective of his pen- 
sion, during the troubled times which preceded and fol- 
lowed the Union. This engine of corruption, as recorded 
by the same document, invariably passed through the 
hands of a Mr J. Pollock. 

It is suggestive of intensely melancholy ideas to glance 
over this blood-tinged record. The initials of MacNaUy 
perpet'jaUy rise like an infernal phantom through its pages. 
Passing over the myriad entries throughout the interval of 
1797 to 1803, we come to the period of Robert Emmet's 
insurrection. In the "State Trials," we find MacNally, 
on September 19, 1803, acting as counsel for Emmet at 
the Special Commission. Under date September 14, 1803, 
" L. M., £100," appears on record in the Secret Service 

* MacNally must have died intestate, as we can find no trace af 
his will in the Irish Prob»te l'-<urt. 


Money Book. This retainer doubtless overbalanced poor 
Emmet's fee. The gifted young Irishman was found guilty, 
and executed. No one is permitted to see him in prison 
but MacNally, who pays him a visit on the morning of his 
execution, addresses him as " Kobert," and shows him every 
manifestation of affection. On the 25th August 1803, 
" Mr Pollock, for L. M., £1000," is also recorded. Some- 
times MacNally signed the receipts for Secret Service 
Money "J. W. ;" but besides that the writing in these 
documents is identical with his acknowledged autograph, 
the clerk's endorsement, "L. M. N." leaves no room for 
doubt. The original receipts were kindly shown to us in 
1854 by Dr Madden. 

The masterly manner in which MacNally fortified his 
duplicity is worthy of attention. Persons usually the most 
clear-sighted regarded him as a paragon of purity and 
worth. Defending Finney, in conjunction with PhUpot 
Curran, the latter, giving way to the impulse of his gene- 
rous feelings, threw his arm over the shoulder of Mac- 
Nally, and, with emotion, said, " My old and excellent 
friend, I have long known and respected the honesty of 
your heart, but never until this occasion was I acquainted 
with the extent of your abilities. I am not in the habit 
of paying compliments where they are undeserved." Tears 
fell from Mr Curran as he hung over his friend.* Nine- 
teen years after, Curran died with the illusion undispelled. 
From the Freeman's Journal oi Octohei 13, 1817, we gather 
that Judge Burton wrote from London to MacNally, as the 
old and tried friend of Curran, to announce the approach- 
ing death of the great patriot.t 

Sir Jonah Barrington insinuates that MacNally was an 
unpopular companion in society. The late Dr Fulton, 
addressing us in 1858, observed : — " L. MacNally was a 
most agreeable companion — quite a little Curian ; and his 
political views were considered even more democratic than 
Curran's. He made a bet that he would dine at the mess 
of the Fermanagh Militia, an ultra-Orange body. He 
joined them unasked, and made himself so agreeable, and 

* Life of Curran by liis son, vol. i., p. 397. 
t We contributed to Notes and Queries Bome portions of this 


every man there so pleasant, tfiat lie received a general 
invitation to their mess from that day. He was a most 
pleasing poet, and wrote, among other effusions, the well- 
known song, ' Sweet Lass of Kichmond Hill.' " 

Sir Jonah Barrington, who often sacrificed strict accu- 
racy to sensational effect, has given us, in his " Personal 
Sketches," a monstrous caricature of MacNally's outward 
man. Nevertheless, although, like Curran, of low stature, 
he had, as we are informed by O'Keefe, who knew him 
intimately, " a handsome, expressive countenance, and fine 
sparkling dark eye." * 

Mr MacNally must at least have had a rare amount of 
what is familiarly termed " cheek." In his defence of 
Watty Cox at a public trial in Dublin, February 26, 1811, 
he says, "Few men become .... informers until they 
have forfeited public character." + 

The Duke of Wellington, in the following letter, prob- 
ably refers to MacNally, whose insatiable cupidity is very 
likely to have prompted him to seek further recognition of 
his unworthy services by applying for some office in the 
gift of the crown : — 

"London, June 29, 1807. 

" My deae Sie, — I agree entirely with you respecting 
the employment of our informer. Such a measure would 
do much mischief. It would disgust the loyal of all de- 
scriptions, at the same time it would render useless our 
private communications with him, as no further trust 
would be placed in him by the disloyal. I think that it 
might be hinted to him that he would lose much of his 
profit if, by accepting the public employment of Govern- 
ment, he were to lose the confidence of his party, and con- 
sequently the means of giving us information 

— Believe me, ever yours most sincerely, 


" To James Trail, Esq." 

* Kecolleotions of John O'Keefe, vol. i., p. 45. 
t IHsh Magasme, April 1811, p. 45. 

t Who is the " Catholic orator" referred to in the following note 
from Sir A. Wellesley to Lord Hawkesbury ? (p. 291 :)— 

"Dublin Castle, Jan. 8, 1808. 
" The extracts of letters sent to you by Lord Greuville, were sent 


The editor of the "Cornwallis Papers," Mr Boss, in 
enumerating, vath others, (iii., 319,) one Samuel Turner, 
who received a pension of £300 a year at the same time 
as MacNally, declares that he has been unable to obtain 
any particulars of this man. There can be no doubt that 
Mr Turner belonged to the same school as MacNally. 

The old Dublin Directories, in the list of " Judges and 
Barristers," record the name of Samuel Turner, Esq., who 
was called to the bar at Easter Term 1788 ; and the fol- 
lowing paragraph, which we exhume from the London 
Courier of December 5, 1803, suggests a painful glimpse 
of the grounds on which Mr Turner obtained a pension at 
the same time as MacNally : — 

" On Friday last, Samuel Turner, Esq., barrister-at-law, 
was brought to the bar of the Court of King's Bench, in 
custody of the keeper of Kilmainham prison, under a 
charge of attainder, passed in the Irish Parliament, as one 
concerned in the Kebellion of the year 1798 ; but having 
shown that he was no way concerned therein, that he had 
not been in the country for a year and seven months prior 
to passing that Act, — i.e., for thirteen months prior to the 
rebellion, — ^and therefore could not be the person alluded 
to, his Majesty's Attorney-General confessed the same, and 
Mr Turner was discharged accordingly." 

To return to MacNaUy : — 

A gentleman who conducted the leading popular paper 
of Dublin some forty years ago, in a communication ad- 
dressed to us, observes: — "It was in 1811, during the 
prolonged trial of the Catholic delegates, (Lord Fingal, 
Sheridan, Burke, and Kirwan,) that doubts were first 
entertained of MacNally's fidelity. MacNally took a lead- 
ing part in the counsels of the delegates and their friends. 
We observed that the Orange Attorney-General, Saurin, 
always appeared wondrously well prepared next day for 
the arguments which we had arranged. MacNaUy, nt 

to us by , the Catholic orator, two months ago. The 

mentioned is a man who was desirous of being employed by Oovem- 
ment as a spy, and his trade is that ot spy to all parties. He offered 

himself to , Lord Fingal, and others, as well as to us, and we 

now watch him closely." 


doubt, used to commvinicate to the law officers of the 
Crown all the secrets of his confiding clients." . 

MacGuicken, the attorney of the United Irishmen, of 
whom we shall speak hereafter, was also subsidised. 

The world now knows the guilt of MacNally and Mao. 
Guicken. Their memory has been execrated. But surely 
the seducer of these once honourable men deserves a share 
of the obloquy. Who was the man who first debauched 
the counsel and solicitor of the United Irishmen t 

(P. 124, ante.) 

In the " Memoirs and Correspondence of Marquis Corn- 
waUis," (voL iii., p. 320,) a letter appears, addressed by Mr 
Secretary Cooke to the Lord Lieutenant, in which various 
persons are recommended, including MacNally and Mac- 
Guicken, as fit recipients for a share in the £1500 per 
annum which in 1799 had been placed for secret service 
at his Excellency's disposal. Mr Cooke thus concludes : — 
" Pollock's services ought to be thought o£ He managed 

Mac and MacGuicken, and did much. He received 

the place of Clerk of the Crown and Peace, and he has the 
fairest right to indemnification." Mr Charles Koss, the 
editor, reminds his readers that " Mac " is " Leonard Mac- 
Nally, Esq., a barrister of some reputation, who was regu- 
larly employed by the rebels, and was entirely in theii 
confidence. He was author of various plays and othei 
works,— bom 1752; died 1820." 

It may interest the students of that eventful period of 
Irish history to learn some account of the unscrupuloua 
■and wily person who succeeded in corrupting the counsel 
and soUcitor of the unfortunate state prisoners. On this 
negotiation some important events hinged. For almost 
every name mentioned in the "ComwaUis Correspondence," 
Mr Eoss has furnished an explanatory footnote. In the 
page following the mention of Mr Pollock's name, the edi- 
tor says : *' It has been found impossible to ascertain any- 
thing in regard to most of these individuals ;" and aa we 


have no note relative to Mr Pollock, it may be presumed 
that Mr Koss knows little or nothing of him. 

Half a century ago John PoUock was a well-known soli- 
citor in Dublin. In the " Dublin Directory" for 1777 his 
name appears for the first time, and his residence is given 
as 31 Mary Street. In 1781 he removed to 12 Anne 
Street, and in 1784 to Jcrvis Street. In 1786, Mr Pollock 
was appointed " solicitor to the trustees of the linen manu- 
facture ;" in 1795 we find him Clerk of the Crown and 
Peace for the province of Leinster, and Clerk of the Peace 
for the county of Dublin. In the year 1800, Mr Pollock 
was gazetted to the enormous sinecure of Clerk of the 
Pleas of the Exchequer. 

The MS. volume already noticed, containing an " ac- 
count of secret service money expenditure employed in de- 
tecting treasonable conspiracies," chronicles the frequent 
payment of pecuniary stimuli to Mr Pollock. On Decem- 
ber 11, 1797, £300 is recorded; April 20, 1798, "John 
PoUock, £110," appears. June 15, £109, 7s. 6d ; August 
18, £56, 17s. 6d. ; August 28, ditto; September U, do.; 
and on January 18, 1799, the large sum of £1137, 10s. 
arrests attention. There are, however, various other pay- 
ments to Mr PoUock, which it would be tedious to enumerate. 

As soon as he received the bloated sinecure of Deputy 
Clerk of the Pleas, Mr Pollock removed from Jervis Street 
to No. 11 Mountjoy Square East, where, as I am informed 
by M S , Esq., he lived in a style of lavish mag- 
nificence, and spent not less than £9000 a year. This 
reign of luxury lasted uutU the year 1817, when Mr PoUock 
was suddenly hurled from his throne. 

The sinecure office of Clerk of the Pleas of the Exche- 
quer had been " in some measure created for Lord Buck- 
inghamshire," as a reward for his important services in 
India,* as well as in Ireland, when discharging the duties 
of Chief Secretary, Sir J. Newport declared in Parlia- 
ment, on Apnl 29, 1816, that his lordship's fees had 
amounted to £35,000 per annum. Loid Buckingham- 
shire died on February 5 in that year. } torn the Dublin 
Evening Post of February 20, 1817, we learn that "Mr 
Pollock stUl continues to fulfil the duties of the office, and 

* Ssetches of Irish Political Characters, p. 49. London, 1799. 


the writs which had been authenticated by the signature 
of ' Buckinghamshire,' are now signed ' John PollocL' " 
The duties of the ofiSce were indolently, inefficiently, and 
often fraudulently discharged. " Purchasers can have no 
security," observes the same authority ; " we have been in- 
formed of a judgment of £10,000 omitted in a certain cer- 
tificate. It is one of the most lucrative and unnecessary 
offices in the country," continues the Post ; " all the duty 
is performed by the deputy, Mr Pollock, who derives about 
£5000 a year. AU this is made up of fees on the distri- 
bution of justice in a single court of law. If this unneces- 
sary office were now extinguished, how much would it 
cheapen justice to the public ! What a number of poor 
suitors would then procure justice who are now excluded 
from its benefits by their poverty !" 

But the estimate of the Post would seem to have been 
" under the mark." On Monday, Apiil 29, Leslie Foster 
declared that Mr Pollock " drew £10,000 out of the profits, 
and on which he ought to pay the salaries of the other 
clerks ; but instead of this he pocketed the whole of the 
money, leaving them to raise the fees upon the suitors on 
no other authority than their own assumptions !" 

The son of a late eminent solicitor, in a letter addressed 
to us, dated September 2.5, 1865, thus refers to Mr Pollock 
and the lax practices then prevalent : — 

" In 1816 my father died. Long before his death my 
mother used to hear him and other professional men talk 
of the general extravagance and demoralisation that existed 
among the officials of the Four Courts, several of whom, 
from poor clerks, were floated up to wealth by the rise o/ 
the times. Most of the higher class among them habitu< 
ally anticipated their incomes, availing themselves of the 
facilities for doing so then afforded by the paper-credit or 
kite-flying* system. As to Pollock, he lived magnificently 
in Mountjoy Square and in the countiy ; and like those, 
for the most part, who spend freely, he was not, indeed, 

* This phrase greatly puzzled a member of the English bar, Lord 
Redesdale, who was sent to Ireland as Chauoellor. Plunket endea- 
voured to explain. " In England, my lord, the wind raises the kite, 
but in Ireland the kite raises the wind." " I feel no better in. 
formed yet, Mr Plunket," replied the matter-of-fact Chancellor, 
PoBsibly some readers may say the same. — W. J. F. 

256 AFPENDDi. 

disliked ; though Lf, in taxing an attorney's costs, he re- 
ceived a note, in order, after deducting what was due 
him, to return the balance, he would, as it were by way of 
a joke, laugh, and say, ' We '11 tallc of this another time," 
and keep the note — the attorney not daring to object, lest 
he should be proportionately a sufferer when he 'd neoei 
have to get his costs taxed ! But, in time, the attorneys 
became sufficiently up to the great cost-taxer's failing as 
regards note-keeping, to be on their guard against it, by 
iiot letting biTn finger more than he was actually entitled 
to receive. Like 'robbers all at Parga,' it should be 
added, that others of those gentry of the courts. Papists as 
well as Protestants, were Pollocks in their way, ' feather- 
ing their nests well,' and eventually purchasing estates. 
At last a Government commission came, and reformed 
this very corrupt system." 

The peculation upon which Mr Pollock had so long fat- 
tened soon began to enkindle a wide sensation. A com- 
mission of inquiry was held, and some startling facts came 
to light. Mr Leslie Foster, afterwards Baron of the Ex- 
chequer, observed : " To show the progress of abuse, he 
might, pursue the history of the place held by this deputy. 
In 1803, his profits amounted to £3000 a year. After 
that time the office was placed under regulations which re- 
duced its emoluments to one-third ; and in consideration 
of what was called the vested right of the possessor, he 
received a compensation of £2000, which, joined to his 
fees, made up £3000, his original income. Instead of 
being worth JE3000 at present, the office jdelded £7000 
a year, having increased £5000 since 1803 ; which, with a 
compensation of £2000 for anticipated loss, amounted to 
the £7000 mentioned. All these abuses spring from the 
circumstance that the power of taxation is lodged in the 
hands of officers who were interestfed in the sums they im- 
posed, or in the abuses they connived at." 

At this time, as appears from the " Directory," Mr Pol- 
(ock not only held the lucrative office of crown solicitor, 
but various sinecures besides. The " Cornwallis Papers" 
had not then divulged that all this emolument was simply 
the wages earned by the corruption of MacNally and 
MacGuicken 1 

RETfirBlTTlOn. 257 

It further appeared that £13,000 extra had been seized 
upon and squandered by understrappers. The commis- 
aoners pursued thfeir inquiries. " They unexpectedly dis- 
tovered," says the Post of May 4, 1817, " an apparently 
humble satellite who obtained an income of XI 300 per 
annum from fees, and who, without being ambitious of 
even the celebrity which an almanac confers, quietly re- 
volved above the brilliant orb of his superior, as much 
unknown to the public as any of the satellites of Jupiter." 
A more monstrous labyrinth of inveterate abuses had never 
before been explored. Impeachment became unavoidable ; 
and we find the Attorney-General, Saurin, bringing for- 
ward nine distinct charges against Mr Pollock. One para- 
graph wiU suffice for a specimen : — " With respect to the 
taxation of costs, the officer has exercised an arbitrary and 
discretionary power in demanding fees ; and that the fees 
received have, in some instances, exceeded the amount of 
the costs themselves." In the Court of Exchequer, July 
1, 1817, the Chief Baron O'Grady, afterwards Lord Guil- 
lamore, passed judgment on Mr Pollock. He thus con- 
cluded : " We are obliged to declare, from the acts lately 
for the first time come to our knowledge, that he has 
abused his duty — abused his discretion — ^he has done act* 
without authority — by accepting gratuities he has de- 
graded the court — ^he has permitted fictitious charges, and 
has raised the fees of this court to bring them to the level 
of higher fees of other courts, instead of bringing down 
what was highest to the level of those that were lower; 
these acts have tended to a perverse and mal-administra- 
tion of justice ; and it is therefore due to the public — to 
the ends of justice — to the authority and purity of the 
court — ^to the maintaining of the court's authority over 
its own officer — and to the end of the officer presiding 
with effect over those under him, that Mr Pollock be re- 
moved, and he is thereby removed from the office of De- 
puty Clerk of the Pleas of this court." The Correspon- 
dent and Saimders of the day do not report the case. 
The foregoing has been extracted from the Freeman's 
Journal. At the period in question, it does not seem to 
have been always easy for reporters to obtain access to 
courts of law during the profioress of peculiar cases. The 


Freeman of ^aly 12, 1817, devotes a leading article to the 
discussion of a petulant remark made by Iiord CMef-Justice 
Norbury's registrar, Mr Jackson, to the effect that " he 
would prevent the court from being turned into a printing 

Mr S '■ tells me that he remembers having noticed, 

with some pain, the once swaggering and influential John 
PoUock reduced to comparative poverty and prostration. 
Mr Pollock did not long survive his humiliation. In 1818 
Leonard MacNally saw his seducer consigned to the grave. 
It may be worth adding that Chief-Baron O'Grady 
claimed the right of patronage in the appointment of suc- 
cessors to Lord Buckinghamshire and Mr Pollock; and 
having named his son and brother to the overgrown sine- 
cures, much comment was excited, which resulted in an 
elaborate public trial of the judge's right. Saurin con- 
tended that the king, not the court, had the right of 


(Pp. 122-I2i, ante.) 

, The Seduction of the once-indomitable patriot Watty 
Cox, who was eventually bought up by the Richmond 
government, was also due to Mr PoUock. 

Mr John Pollock, in a letter addressed to Sir Arthur 
WeUesley, dated January 12, 1809, directing his attention 
to Macniven's " Pieces of Irish History," * goes on to say, 
(p. 534:)- 

" Whether this book was originally printed in New York 
is for the present immaterial ; it is now in print in Dublin, 
and, no doubt, will be circulated through the country with 
indefatigable zeaL My information says it is the precursor 
of a French invasion ; and certainly the whole object of 
the book is calculated, and with great ability executed, in 
order to show the necessity of a separation of this country 
frolu England, and to procure a French army to be received 
here as allies. Your means of information are, no doubt, 

• Civil Correspondenoe and Memoranda of P. M. Arthur Djke of 
Wellington ; edited by his son 

WRITEB8 BfllBED. 259 

most ample ; it may, however, not be improper in me to 
say to you that if y(m have Cox* (who keeps a small book- 
shop in Anglesea Street,) he can let you into, the whole 
object of sending this book. to Ireland at this time; and. 
further, if you have not Cox, beKeve me that no sum of 
money at all within reason would be misapplied in riveting : 
him to the Government. I have spoken of this man before 
to Sir Edward Littlehales and to Sir Charles Saxton. He 
is the most able, and, if not secured, by far the most 
formidable man that I know of in Ireland." He was 
"secured" accordingly; but Lord Mulgrave, afterwards 
Marquis of Normanby, on his accession to the viceroyalty, 
deprived Cox of his pension. Under the regime . of the 
Duke of Richmond was also accomplished the seduction of 
an able Roman Catholic satirist, Dr Erennan, who con- 
tinued until his death to enjoy a pension of J200 & year 
for ridiculing in his Milesian Magazine the Catholic leaders 
of that day. 

A correspondent, Mr C. C. Hoey, sends us the following 
note touching Walter Cox : — 

"Scattered through the pages of Cox's (Watty) ./mi. 
ifaganine-iiom 1807 to 1814, now extremely scarce, may 
be found a great amount of uncollected information that 
may be advantageously read with the light of the Welling- 
ton Correspondence, Though Cox was finally bJugkt up to 
silence, he did good service for his creed and country. In 
those years, and that principally on the veto question, the 
career of this man was extraordinary, and notwithstandiug 
his weak points, he is entitled to a distinct biography. Tlie 
'Shrewd Man' and the ' Gunsmilii,'. alluded to under 
Secretary Trail's letter, was no other than Walter Cox. 
Cox's father was a bricklayer, who was dragged to prison 
by order of Lord Carhampton, and suffered some indigni- 
ties and even torture, which never left the mind of his son, 
and finally made him resolve on turning author, to retali- 
ate for the severities he witnessed in 1798. Cox himself 
was originally a gunsmith ; he supplied military data to 
Lord Edward Fitzgerald^ enjoyed his confidence as well as 
others in the Directory, and afterwards became his lord- 

* Mr Pollock was no strauger to Cox. See Irwh Magazine for 
1811, pp. 353, 431. 


ship's biographer in the pages of his own magazine. Cox, 
though a youth in 1792, held the command of the second 
company of the Goldsmiths' Corps of Volunteers, whose 
last parade was announced to take place in the burial 
ground of St Michael le Pole, Great Ship Street, but was 
prevented by a proclamation of the Government and a turn 
out of the whole garrison, similar to the Clontarf afifair of 
'43. This, I believe, was the last attempted meeting of the 
volunteers in Dublin. Dr Madden inserts a query in the 
fourth volume of the last edition of his United Irishmen. 
(p. 599) as to whether some Mr Cox, who received secret 
service money in 1803, was identical with Watty Cox; but 
it is not likely, as from Lord Hardwick's oflScial vindication 
of his government, it appears that it was meditated in 1803 
to place the formidable gunsmith under arrest as a danger- 
ous democrat. Cox suffered imprisonment and the piUoiy 
several times for his writings ia the Irish Magazine; the 
most noted was " The Paiater Cut; a Vision," of whicl^he 
was found guilty and sentenced to pay a fine of three hun- 
dred pounds, and enter into security himself for one 
thousand, with two others of five hundred pounds each, 
to keep in good behaviour for seven years, as well as 
suffer one year's confinement in Newgate. A great portion 
of the priesthood exerted themselves in striving to put 
down his Magazine for the part he took against the veto, 
and he attacked the Government so severely that Crown 
Solicitor PoUock suggested he should be bought up as being 
the most formidable character .of the time. Archbishop 
Troy and Bishop Milner (who subsequently became an 
anti-vetoist) and LordFingal received no quarter at his 
hands. In his Magazine may be found a good deal of 
matter connected with those men, not to be found else- 
where. Sir Jonah Barrington comes in for a share of casti- 
gation for his shortcomings and backslidings ; he accuj^es 
him of bringing forward a motion in the Irish House of 
Commons " to confiscate the property of Dr Esmond, who 
headed the rebel force at Prosperous, and thereby deprived 
his infant children of bread." He says Sir JonaJi Barring- 
ton printed his " History of tL<s Union '' in Dublin in 1802, 
but as lie did not give it to the public then, we presume 
Le gave it to :uiotber quarter. There ia also some matter 


connected with the career of Reynolds, O'Brien, Hepenstal, 
and many others, which I think has not met the notice of 
the historians of 1798. The admirably executed caricatures 
published in his Maganne were done by Mr Brocas, who 
afterwards was appointed head master of the Government 
School of Design, Royal Dublin Society. After lying for 
some years in Newgate, Cox was at last bought over. He 
resided for a while in the house No. 12 Clarence Street, off 
Summer Hill, which still goes by the name of ' Cox's Cot,' 
and his name appears on some old leases connected with 
that quarter. lie finally retired to Finglas, where he spent 
many years, and mixed much in the sports and M&y-pole 
amusements of that old vUlage. I am hunting up for some 
information concerning his latter days, and I find that there 
IS at present alive a nephew of his, a working' bricklayer. 
Oox died in 1837, having been prepared for death by the 
Rev. Matthias Kelly, P.P. of St Margaret's, Finglas. From 
some letters of Cox not generally accessilsle, we select s 
few in illustration of his epistolary style : — 

"New York, December 18, 1819. 

" My deas Feiend, — I am as uneasy as possible by re- 
maining here, and I am determined to leave this hideous 
climate and mast detestable race of rascals, who call it 
their own, and boast of it as a gift of Heaven, though the 
wretches are hardly out of school when they die of old age, 
or are swept away by yellow fever, which has not spared 
any one within the range of its devouring limits on the 
sea coast, from Boston to New Orleans. The last summer 
I escaped by flying to Quebec — a distance of 562 miles ; 
and from its lofty walls I despatched a letter to you on 
the 12th of October, and returned here on the 11th of 
November, to see the sickly wretched Yankees removing 
the fences that enclosed a considerable portion of this city, 
when, in their fright, they attempted to put limits to thb 
common enemy, as judiciously as the wise men of (Jotham 
attempted to keep in I be sparrows, by placing a strong 
niiling round their town. They have perished in thousands, 
and, in my opinion, the yellow fever would confer a bless- 
ing on the human race by continuing its capers. 

" A work of interesting curiosity, I have almost ready, 


to 'consist of two volumes, whict, if I live until summer, 
will be in the Irisli press. I have seen Mr O'Connell's 
letter to the Catholics, and have got it printed here. 
There never was a better or more seasonable State Baper, 
a dignity it most eminently deserves. Remember me tt 
■your cliild ; to B. Tell Mr James Crosbie, Attorney- 
General to toll-houses, that T hope he is alive and well; but 
if he is dead, Say nothing about it iintil I call, in person. — 
Yours truly, ' " Waltee Cox. 

"A considerable number of Dublin men are here, cap- 
tains, colonels, <fcc., who ran away from Generals D'Evereuz 
and L'Estrange, and from the burning sands of Margaiitta, 
famine and yellow fever, which the orators and prophets of 
the Board of Health, instituted in Dublin for taking care 
of sick friends a;t a distance, forgot to predict." 

Mr Cox did not continue an O'ConneUite. In 1835 we 
find him brought 'lip before the magistrate at Arran Quay 
Police Office, charged by the reverend gentlemen of Church 
Street Chapel with having personally denounced in very 
violent language the collection of the O'ConneU Tribute 
during its progress in the Chapel Yard. 

" New York, Nov. 20, 1819. 

" I have determined to return home, nor am I prepared, 
by my veiy sad experience, to encounter any more of the 
frightful climate and other miseries incident to the infernal 
state of society in this coilntry, with the wretched penury 
to be met with in all parts of this land. 

"You may conceive some faint idea of the health of this 
place, when I assure you even New York, the most salu- 
brious city here, was entirely reduced to a solitude during 
'jhe last summer, which, to avoid, I made a most expensive 
3xcursion to Quebec, a distance of 570 miles. Not an 
Irishman in Savannah that did not fall a victim to the 
yellow fever, among them, Mr John Walsh, late of Ushrr's 
Quay,_ and his son and daughter ; not an acre of ground 
occupied by white men in this extensive region, that did 
not feel the scourge of every species of fever hitherto 
Vnown, besides thousands of a new variety. 


" Cobbett has gone home, and then surely I may ven- 
ture, as I would prefer the di-y gallows at home to an 
inglorious sweating death under -American blankets. 

" P.S. — I will have ready for publication, on my arrival, 
a novel in true Irish style, which, I will venture to say, 
will be much superior in originality, style, and composition, 
to any of Lady Morgan's. What will the world say, when 
it is known I am turned novelist ? Laughable, certainly, 
but true, as the existence of Essex Bridge. — ^Yours, 

" Walter Cox." 

We are not aware that the formidable rival to " O'Don^ 
nell" and "Florence MacCarthy" ever appeared. 

From other letters of Cox in our hands, we find Mm in 
June 1821 residing at " IngouviUe, Havre de Grace." 
He expresses himself in very laudatory terms of La beUe 
France ; invites some old friends to visit him " for three 
months," and by way of inducement promises no end of 
sparkling champagne. 

(P. 121, ante.) 

We have received from Mr S. Redmond, a respectabk 
gentleman connected for many years, first with the Irish, 
and later with the English press, the following letter, 
correcting the account given by Dr of the disappear- 
ance from the Castle Archives of the Secret-Service-Money 
Book. It is right to premise, however, that having sub- 
mitted Mr Redmond's letter to Charles Haliday, Esq., J.P., 
perhaps the most extensive collector of rare and curious 
books illustrative of Irish history, he informs us that the 
Secret-Service- Money Book is in his keeping, and that Mr 
Redmond's impression, as to its having been forcibly 
recovered by the Government, is erroneous. Mr Redmond 
was a very young man in 1838, and probably the story 
told him did not lose in the carriage by Mr Byrne. " Tha 
Secret-Service-Money Book," writes Mr Haliday, "was 
sold witk other very curious documents as waste paper." 

It was in 1838, during the Mulgrave Viceroyalty, thai 


this important volume fv^nd its way, among a mass of 
waste paper,* to an obscure dealer in second-hand books. 
After some vicissitudes it passed into the hands of a book- 
seller, residing on Upper Ormond Quay, by whom we 
understand it was sold for .£10 to Mr Haliday. 

"46 Salisbuet Street, Liveepool, 
" Oaober 22. 
" Sir, — Although I have not the honour of your per- 
sonal acquaintance, I am very well aware of your name and 
character. I trust you will excuse me for addressing you 
on a subject which you have ventilated, and which is of 
deep historical interest. It is in reference to the footnote, 

referring to what your friend Dr told about the 

Secret-Service-Money Book. Perhaps the following facts 
may be of use to you, and if so, you are at liberty to make 
any use yoa think proper of them. The document in 
question was not ' cleared out and sold ' by any official in 
the Castle — ^it was stolen with some other valuable docu- 
ments, but it came into the hands of poor John Fegan in 
an honest and legitimate manner. He kept a stall at the 
corner of Off Lane and Henry Street, and was a man of 
great natural intelligence, had a limited education, but 
improved it wonderfully by seK-culture. The doctor, 1 
think, has made a mistake by stating that it was publicly 
exhibited for sale. No man in the world knew the valu« 
of such a document better than poor Fegan. He showed, 
it to Mr Edward Byrne, (since dead,) who kept a tavern at 
No. 6 Capel Street. I was then a very young man, con- 
nected with the reporting staff of the Morning Register 
newspaper, (and subsequently for nearly ten years on the 

* We are informed by a gentleman, connected for halt a century 
with the office of the Secretary of State, Dublin, seven years 
previous to this clearance — namely, during the Anglesey Viceroyalty, 
in 1831 — cart-loads of correspondence were removed to the Riding 
School, in the Lower Castle Yard, while some alterations were in pro- 
gress at the Chief Secretary's Office. They remained for a length- 
ened period publicly exposed in the Biding School, until they became 
"email by degrees, and beautifully less." The documents sold in 1839 
were a different lot, and their abstraction was attributed to the 
dishonesty of some of the messengers who had ready access to the 
presses »»» which the letters were coptaiifcd. 


FreemaiCs Journal,) and Mr Byrne sent for mo and showed 
it to me. Although young, I was immediately alive to 
the value of the treasure that lay before me, and I at once 
resolved to possess it. I appointed to meet Mr Byrne and 
Fegan in the evening, and did so ; but imagine my surprise 
when I found the treasure had flown. Mr Byrne had 
taken it back to the Castle ! Between the time I had seen 
him in the forenoon and my visit in the evening, a person 
from the Castle called on Mr Byrne, and threatened to have 
him transported if he did not give up the document ! Mr 
B. was a very timid man, and at once proceeded to the 
Castle and delivered it up. It seems that, in consequence 
of the gossip raised by poor Fegan about it, it was missed 
from the Castle, and hot search made after it. The above 
is the result. This was in the latter end of 1338, or begin- 
ning of '39. I have often regretted the loss, for had I got 
it, no pressure would have extracted it from me. 

" It may be interesting to you, when I state that many 
of Lever's and Carleton's best stories are founded on tales 
told them by Fegan. He was obliged to quit Dublin in 
'48, and subsequently kept a book-stall at the Custom 
House here. He lost his life, with his wife and three 
children, in a fire in the house where he lived in Shaw's 
AUey, in this town, three or four years ago. I wrote a 
short memoir of him in the journal to which I am attached. 
The public raised a handsome monument to the family, in 
Saint Anne's Church, Edge HUl. 

" I have frequently seen the slab (a black stone, either 
marble or heavy dark limestone) over the grave of Higgins, 
in Kilbarrack Churchyard, but little did I think who lay 
beneath it. The last time I saw it, (some years ago,) it 
was partly on its side, apparently turned over. What a 
gigantic scoundrel he was, and to have done such a multi- 
plicity of novel viUanies in a life, comparatively short, 
surpasses comprehension. One would thmk that, to con- 
ceive and mature such an amount of hell-born crimes, 
would have taken a couple of centuries ; but when we 
find a human being capable of acting them, and dying at 
fifty-five, our astonishment becomes altogether lost. Poor 
Magee ! ought he not have a statue some place about Col- 
Uge Green ? Fearfully as I felt my gorge rise ftt t^e treble- 


dyed damnation of Iscariot Higgins, I must say, with the 
utmost sincerity, that in all my life I never enjoyed such 
hearty laughter as I did at the description of the fetes at 
Fiat HUl ; and when I meet with any one troubled with 
the hips, I shaU turn doctor and order the patient to read 
that part of the work twice, and I will insure him a radical 
cure. Many a day have I gambolled about these spots, 
little thinking that the ground was sacred to Olympic pig 
races, or that I would, in this country, (to use a well-knowa 
phrase,) nearly burst my sides reading of the scenes that 
were enacted on that now memorable hUl. — I am, &c., 

" Sylvester Redmond." 

The Duke of Wellington, when Sir Arthur Wellesley, 
more than once complained of the abstraction of papers 
from their legitimate repository. Among the curious 
papers alluded to by Mr Haliday, is a voluminous corres- 
pondence between influential persons and viceroys of the 
day, soliciting place, promotion, pay, and patronage. One 
letter from Compton Domvile, Esq., M.P., of Santry House, 
addressed to the Duke of Richmond, asks for the peerage 
of Santry. The Lord Lieutenant writes across the letter — 
" A modest request ! Answer this letter evasively. — Rich- 
mond." But the application was not, after all, very un- 
reasonable, for an ancestor of Mr Domvile's possessed the 
peerage of Santry, which he lost, according to O'Reilly's 
" Reminiscences of an Emigrant MUesian," * from having 
at a meeting of the Hell-Fire Club, in Saul's Court, Fish- 
amble Street, compelled an unfortunate man to swallow 
brandy until his throat filled to overflow, when a lighted 
match was applied, and the suiferwr slowly blazed into 
eternity! t But what little reliance can be placed upon 
hearsay stories, and how likely men are, after the lapse of 
many years, to confound the details of utterly distinct 
incidents, is exhibited in this " Reminiscence." Lord 

* Vol. iii., page 290. 

t The Hell- Fire Club of Dublin was Buoceeded by the Cherokee 
Club. The late Mr John Patten told us that the late estimable 
Earl of Charlemont was a member of It, and dressed in red and 
black -the devil's livery I Lords Orraond, Enniakillen, and Llan- 
daff also belonged to it 


Stinlry was tried by his peers, not for the above diabolical 
escapade, which, we believe, he never committed, but for 
having, at the village of Palmerstown, stabbed a man named 
Loughiin Murphy, "who died of his wound on Septembel 
25th, 1738. The report of his trial is now before us. 
Lord San try was sentenced to o'eath; but there is an 
authentic tradition to the effect, that his cousin, Mr Comp- 
ton Domvile, having threatened to deprive Dublin of water, 
the noble convict's life was pardoned by the viceroy. The 
title, however, was forfeited, and Lord Santry's estates 
passed to Sir Compton Domvile. 

It may be asked, how Mr Domvile could deprive Dublin 
of water. The supply came from the Dodder at Temple- 
ogue, and ran through the Domvile property. By damming 
up or turning off this stream, which then was the sole 
conduit of supply to the Earl of Meath's Liberty and 
Dublin city, formidable inconveniences could not fail to 

The corporate records are said to contain some curious 
details of a quarrel in which Mr Coinpton Domvile and 
the executive were occasionally engaged. It was more 
than once brought to a crisis by Mr Domvile cutting off 
tlie water supply, sometimes in pique, sometimes in salu- 
tary pressure on the powers that were. On one occasion, 
as we are assured by an officer of the corporation, the Lord- 
Lieutenant was constrained to send out horse and foot, and 
forcibly wrest the water from the custody of Domvile's 
retainers. In 1775 the insufficiency of the supply from 
the Dodder, which for several centuries was the sole 
resource of Dublin, led the corporation to resort to the 
Grand Canal. But matters were not much mended by the 

change. Dr W of Dublin, who is stUl living, saw the 

troops cut the canal, when, owing to a dispute, the direo 
tors refused to continue to give water. A pure and abun- 
dant supply of soft water was long desired by Dublin, and 
this has been recently obtained for it through the energj 
of Sir John Gray. 


(P. 57, ante.) 

The repeated mention of Houlton's name in the history 
of the Sham Squire* leads to the query whether the mis- 
creant named Houlton, described by Plowden, as having 
personated a rebel general in 1798, was connected with 
the colleague of Francis Higgins. Mr Houlton, after an 
interview with the Irish Privy Council, Iford Bedesdale 
presiding, was equipped with a superb rebel uniform, in- 
cluding a cocked hat and feathers, which was paid for by 
Government, and sent on a mission to Belfast, to tempt, to 
proselytise, to dupe, and to betray. An orderly dragoon 
repaired with instructions to General Sir Charles Ross, 
who commanded in Belfast, that Houlton was a confidential 
servant of the Government, and on no account to be mo- 
lested. Houlton, however, having set off on his mission 
in a post-chaise and four, arrived at Belfast long before the 
advice of his advent, and the result was that, when in the 
act of spouting treason with startling volubility at a tavern, 
Houlton was arrested by the local authorities, paraded in 
his uniform round the town, and sent back under a strong 
guard to DubliiL t 

A fine field for the profitable pursuit of betrayal was 
spoiled by this contrariety. The north of Ireland, at one 
time ripe for revolt, never rose. Some interesting papers, 
formerly in the possession of General Nugent, who had 
the chief command in the North, are now in our hands, 
and reveal the formidable length to which the organisation 
reached in Ulster. 

The conspiracy was not confined to the men who had 
aothing to lose. Among those who staked their lives and 
fortunes on its issue, was Mr Stewart of Acton, a gentle- 
man of large property, noticed at considerable length in 

* See p. 67, &c. 

+ Post-Union History, vol. i., p. 223. It may be pertinent to 
add, that in the interval which elapsed between the French expe- 
dition to Bantry Bay and their arrival at Killala, the Mayor of 
Drogheda hired a staff of spies, whom he dressed up in French 
uniforms, and despatched through the country to entrap the unwary 


*tLo Private and Secret" letters of Under-Secretaiy Cooke, 
nJdressed to Lord Castlereagh, and published in the cor- 
respondence of the latter. * 

The letters in question boast of possessing information 
calculated to criminate Mr Stewart, but the details or even 
substance of the information is not given. The following 
letters are now printed for the first time. Lord Castle- 
reagh's, we may add, was enclosed in the larger communi- 
cation addressed by Lord William Bentiuck to General 
Nugent, commander-in-chief in Ulster : — 

(Secret.) " Dublin Castle, June 24. 

" My Lop'^, — The information upon which I granted a 
warrant ag<'dnst Mr Stewart stated him, a very short time 
previous to the rebellion, to have accepted the situation of 
Adjutant-General for the county of Armagh in the rebel 

" Your lordship's knowledge of the public mind of the 
North confirms me in a hope I have for some time enter- 
tained that there has a salutary change of sentiment taken 
place amongst the Dissenters. I am not sanguine enough 
to hope that Mr Stewart can, in so short a space of time, 
have become a good subject ; however, under all the cir 
cumstances, it appears to me desirable that Mr S. should, 
at least for the present, remain at large, under his bail, as 
taken by your lordship. Should any circumstance arise to 
make it advisable to proceed otherwise, I shall have the 
honour of communicating on the subject with your lord- 
ship before any steps are taken, — I have the honour to be, 
your lordship's v.ery obedient servant, 

" Castlbeeagh. 

"To Lord William Bentiuck." 

" Armagh, July 27, 1798. 
" Dear General Nugent, — I send under the charge of 
one of our quartermasters, Mr Stewart, a prisoner, who was a 
man of very good property at the time he was apprehended 
under a warrant from Lord Castlereagh. 

* Memoirs and Correspondence of Lort'. Castlereagh, vol. i., pp. 
2.'i3-60. See also tlie Persoaal KecoUections of Lord Cloucurry, 2d 
sdit, pp. 64 aud 66. 


" I was at the time so convinced that all the leading 
people of this town whom I had known to be violent 
United Irishmen about a year and a half ago, with the 
exception of one or two, had now changed their opinion, 
Ihat upon their offer of very large bail I took upon myself 
to liberate him, and informed Lord Castlereagh that I had 
done so. And it is my opinion that the having liberated 
this man when I did, contributed very much to keep the 
people here in good humour ; and, as far as I can learn, 
they never had any intention of rising. Mr Stewart con- 
fessed to me privately that he was a United Irishman, 
which confession appears to me, as being unnecessary and 
infamous to himself, a proof of his innocence as to an 
insurrection. I send you Lord Castlereagh's letter to me. 
When I liberated him, I, of course, knew nothing of the 
charge against him, and since his release I cannot discover 
that he has been concerned in any way whatever with the 

" You have a man of the name of Jackson at Belfast, 
whom I apprehended here, and against whom, by a letter 
from a Mr Hamilton at Belfast, there appear to be no 
charges. It is of very material impoitance to the tran- 
quillity of this part of the country that he should not 
return. He has always been remarkably active among the 
people ; he is in aU particulars very like Munro, who was 
hanged at Lisbum. He is the great leader here. — I am, 
dear General, yours truly, " W. Bentinok." 

" LisBtTEN, June 27, 1798. 
" SiE, — I am directed by Major-General Goldie to send 
to you to Belfast, William Eean, a man who acted as aide- 
de-camp to Munro, and who was formerly a clerk in the 
Star* office at Belfast. James Petticrew, Kobert Fuller- 
ton, Charles Keanan, and John Sinclare, all prisoners, are 
positive evidence against him ; Hugh Orr and Christopher 
Williamson, likewise prisoners, are circumstantial evidence 
iigainst Kean. When Kean's trial is over, the General 
wishes you to send back these evidences, as they give in- 
formation against people who are confined here. ' Hugh 
Reid is likewise sent, but the General desires me to say 
• The NorOiern Star, edited by Samuel Neilaon. 

DaGGAN. 271 

that he does not wish that this man should be brought to 
trial, as he is a very principal evidence against many 
people ; and you will be so good as to send him up here 
when you are done with him. A man of the name of 
Fleeting is likewise sent, who says that he was employed 
by Dulry, who is now on trial with you, to make pikes, 
for whom he made about fourteen. Please to send him 
back when Dairy's trial is over. — I have the honour to be, 
Sir, &c. Alex. M'Auley, M.B." 

" Anteim, i)«c. 20, 1798. 

"Dear General, — I enclose the examination against 
the man who was sent to Belfast yesterday of the name of 
Duggan. The person who gave it may be heard of from 
Mr MacGuicken, at the sign of the Cock, in this place. 

" I have also enclosed a state of our ammunition, and 
an application to have the deficiency made up. 

" Information has just been given me of an intended 
meeting near Donegal Moat, about four miles from hence, 
this evening. I shall send out a party, which I hope will 
be EuccessM. — I remain, dear General, &c. 

« D. Leslie." 


The allusion to Duggan and M'Guickan in the foregoing 
letter reminds us that of both we have something curious 
to teU. 

M'Guickan, already alluded to, and to whom we pro- 
mised to return, invariably acted as solicitor to the United 
Irishmen. He performed with much skill the part of. an 
ardent patriot, possessed the entire confidence of the popu- 
lar party, was a member of the Northern Directory of 
United Irishmen, and long subsequent to 1798 spoke with 
much spirit at Catholic meetings. The Gonvwallis Papers 
confirm the almost incredible statement that M'Guickan 
revealed to the Government, for money, the secrets of his 
clients and friends. In the trials which followed the par- 
tial outbreak in 1798, M'Guickan constantly figured as 
legal adviser for the rebel leaders of Ulster. This man 


was, as we have said, tampered with, corrupted, and 
eventually pensioned. He survived until 1817. Exclu- 
sive of hjs pension, he received, as gentle stimulants, vari- 
ous sums amounting altogether to nearly £1500. 

Mr John Murray of Downpatrick, in a letter, dated 
December 26, 1865, thus refers bj M'Guickan : — " I knew 
M'Guickan well; he was an attorney, and kept his ofBce in 
Fountain Lane, Belfast. Such was the plausibility of the 
villain that he was able to pass himself o£f as a philanthro- 
pist, as well as a patriot, and as such actually joined with 
Dr Drennan, Charles Hamilton Teeling, Putman M'Cabe, 
Stephen Wall, Joe Smyth, and others, on the managing 
committee of the Cotton Court Sunday School — an excel- 
lent establishment, by the way, and precursor of Sunday 
schools in Belfast. M'Guickan was also a member of the 
Belfast Harp Society. 

"In the memorable year of 1811, when Ireland was 
agitated from centre to sea, when a Tory Government 
attempted to restrict the sacred and inalienable right of 
petition for redress of grievance, it was then the Catholics 
of this country rose in their might and boldly flung in the 
teeth of their rulers the daring circular of WeUesley Pole. 
The Catholics of Antrim held their county meeting in St 
Patrick's Church, Belfast, when the arch-traitor, who had 
ingratiated himself into the respect of his countrymen, was 
actually chosen secretary to that meeting. 

" The impress of his personal appearance remains fixed 
on my mind as of yesterday, as I saw him, pen in hand, 
sit beside the noble chairman, who, with numerous Pro- 
testants and Presbyterians, generously came forward to 
assist us at that critical period. 

" As to the exit of M'Guickan, if only one-half of what 
is said of him be true, his latter end was even more miser- 
able than that of Jemmy O'Brien himself. No doubt 
Jemmy was ready to ' dip the Evangelists in blood,' but 
here was a wretch even worse, who, in addition, set every 
principle of honour and justice at defiance." 

Bernard Duggan, a native of Tyrone, took a leading 
part in the rebellions of 1798 and 1803. Sir Kichard 
Musgrave describes him as mounted on a white horse at 
the battle of Prosperous, and boasting that he was as good 

DCGCiAH. 27f 

a. man as the military commander of that district, Captain 
Swayne. In Robert Emmet's conspiracy of 18C3, Duggan 
was a zealous ally. He wrote a narrative of his connexion 
with that movement, and presented it to Mr John C. 
O'CaUaghan, who has kindly handed it to us for publica- 
tion. Duggan was arrested and imprisoned ; but he seenn 
to have made terms with the Government. No trial took 
place, and he was set at large " like a roaring lion, seeking 
whom he might devour." For forty years subsequently, 
we find Duggan regarded by the national party as a vener- 
able and uncompromising patriot. It awakens painful 
emotions to attempt to estimate the extent of the mischief 
of which this hoary-headed wretch was the father. It 
must, indeed, have been enormous ; but, thanks to the 
vigilance of Dr, now Sir John Gray, Duggan was at last 
unmasked. On August 25, 1858, we noted some interest- 
ing facts regarding this discovery, communicated to us in 
conversation by Sir John Gray, who, in reply to a ques- 
tion from us as to whether we are at liberty to publish 
them, is good enough to reply affirmatively. We append 
the original jottings, which Sir John Gray pronounces to 
be perfectly accurate : — 

Spoke of the receipts for secret-service money. Dr Gray 
went to Connaught in 1843 to see his &ther, who was iU, 
and called on the Eev. Joseph Darcy Sirr, rector of Kil- 
coleman, biographer of Archbishop Trench, and son of the 
notorious Major Sirr. Dr Gray found him examining a 
mass of old documents spread over his study table. "Here, 
you rebel repealer,"* said Mr Sirr, playfully, " some of 
these will interest you/ they are chiefly the communica- 

*"Kepealer" and " rebei" were not unfrequently regarded as syno 
ilymoua words; and the organs of Earl de Grey and the Orangemen 
nrged, in proae and yenc>, that the Repealers should be dealt with 
as Lords Camden, Castlereagh, and Clare dealt with the United 
Jrishpiun. Id Kovember 1843, the Packet sane — 
" These, these are the secrets 
Of peace in our land — 
The scourge for the back. 

For the forehead the brand ; 
The chain for the neck. 

And the gyves for the heel ; 
Till the SCArFOLD lets loess 
The base blogd of lUneal | '' 


tions of informers to my late father." Dr Gray read some 
of them over ; and having observed one particular letter, 
he started, saying, " I have seen that handwriting before ; 
;an you tell me who is ' D. ?' " The letter, communicating 
the result of some mercenary espionage to the Major, was 
merely signed " D." " There are many other letters from 
the same party," observed Mr Sirr. " I cannot discover 
who he can be ; his letters extend over upwards of thirty 
years, and I think the writer has not less than thirty 
aliases. He was a most remarkable man ; and if you wish 
to unravel the mystery, you can have all facilities ; so send 
home your conveyance, and remain for the day." Dr 
Gray embraced the proposal, and devoted several hours to 
following up the scent. He was familiar with the writing, 
though he could not recall to mind the name or indivi- 
duality of the writer. At last a receipt for a small amount 
was discovered, signed " B. Duggan," the date of which 
was about 1806. Dr Gray, in ecstacy, exclaimed: "I 
have him ! I know him well ! he was with me yesterday I" 
" Impossible ! " cried Mr Sirr, " he must be dead long 
since." A comparison of the handwriting left no doubt of 
the identity of the scoundrel. The spy, who had grown 
hoary, and to outward appearances venerable, in his in- 
famous employment, had repeatedly addressed letters to 
Dr Gray, breathing a strong spirit of patriotism and na- 
tionality. Dr Gray, as editor of a highly influential organ 
of O'Connell's policy, was specially marked out for game 
by the designing Duggan, who, for forty years, enjoyed the 
reputation of an earnest and zealous patriot, was ever 
tntertained at dinner by a member of the Catholic Asso 
elation, and contrived to insinuate himself into the confi- 
dence of many of the national party. 

He was introduced by letter to Dr Gray, by a leading 
member of the Young Ireland section of the Repeal Asso- 
ciation Committee, who described him as a rebel of '98, 
who could assist Dr Gray by his personal memory of 
events in perfecting some notes on the history of the 
United Irishmen, on which Dr Gray was then engaged. 
Dr Gray soon ascertained that Duggan possessed much 
traditionary knowledge of the events and of the men of 
the period, and gave Duggan a small weekly stipend for 


writing his " personal recollectiona'' lie observed before 
long that Duggan'a visits became needlessly frequent, and 
that he almost invariably endeavoured to diverge from '98 
and make suggestions as to '43. This tendency excited 
more amusement than suspicion ; and the first real doubt 
as to the true character of Duggan was suggested to his 
mind thus. Duggan said he was about to commence busi- 
ness, and was collecting some subscriptions. Dr Gray 
gave him two pounds ; and Duggan at once handed across 
a sheet of blank paper, saying, "I will have twenty 
pounds in three days, if you write the names of ten or 
twelve gentlemen on whom I may call ; they won't refuse 
if they see their names in your handwriting."* Almost in 
the same breath he named half a dozen members of the 
Repeal Association, most of them members of the Young 
Ireland section, adding, " I know these gentlemen WiU aid 
me for aU I suffered since '98." The former efforts of 
Duggan to get into conversation as to present politics at 
once flashed across the Doctor's memory, and he politely 
declined to write the required list j which, possibly, wai 
designed by Duggan and his abettors to flourish at some 
future state trial, as the veritable list of the Provisional 
Government of Ireland, in the handwriting of the proposer 
of the project for forming arbitration courts throughout 
Ireland, as substitutes for the local tribunals that were 
deptived of popular confidence by the dismissal of all 
magistrates who were repealers. It was during the same 
week that Dr Gray discovered Duggan's real character in 
the course of the visit to the parsonage already described 
All the facts as here given were rapidly told to his reverend 
friend, who, ascribing the discovery to a special providence, 
begged the "life" of Duggan, explaining that the papers 
before him showed that the fate of detected informers in 
'98 was death. The sincerity with which the good parson 
pleaded for the life of Duggan was a most amusing episode 
in the little drama. His fears were, however, soon allayed 
by the assurance that Dr Gray belonged to the O'ConneE 
section of politicians, and that the only punishment that 
awaited Duggan was exposure. The parson would not 

* iVtr O'Callaghan informs us that Dup^gan also irlicited him to 
affix Ilia sit^iatura to a document. 


be convinced; and, under the plea tliat Dr Gray wae 
allowed as a private friend to see the papers that con- 
victed Duggan, he extorted a promise that there should be 
no public exposure of Duggan, but allowed Dr Gray within 
this limit to use the information he acquired at his own 

Duggan was, in truth, a master of duplicity. In the 
Sirr papers he is found writing under various signatures. 
" At one time," said Dr Gray, " he personated a priest, 
and on other occasions a peddler and a smuggler. He 
wrote to Major Sirr for a hogshead of tobacco, and for £15 
to buy a case of pistols for personal protection. In ont 
year alone he got £500." 

"As soon," added Dr Gray, "as I discovered the 
character of this base spy, I returned to Dublin, and lost 
no time in apprising Duffy, Davis, Pigot, O'CaUaghan, and 
every member of the national party, of the precipice on 
which they stood, and undertook to O'Connell that 1 would 
cause Duggan to make himself scarce without violating 
my promise to Mr Sirr that he should not be exposed to 
pubUc indignation." 

A letter addressed to us on August 20, 1865, by Mr 
Martin Haverty, the able author of " The History of Ire- 
land Ancient and Modern," supplies an interesting re- 
miniscence : — 

" One day, during the memorable repeal year 1843, Sir 
John Gray invited me to breakfast, telling me that I 
should meet a very singular character — a relic of '98, but 
intimating that he had his doubts about this person, and 
that the object of my visit was chiefly that their interview 
should not be without a witness. 

" I may tell you that I never belonged to any political 
party in Ireland. I always felt an innate repugnance for 
•Jie manner, principles, &c., of the Young Irelanders, and 
was convinced that I loved my country at least as sincerely, 
tenderly, and ardently as any of them. I never had mucli 
faith in mere politicians, though my sympathies were 
O'ConneUite, and Sir John Gray had perfect confidence in 

"We were after breakfast when Bernard Duggan was 
brought^ into the room. I was introduced to him as a 


friend of Ireland, before whom he might apeak freely. It 
was easy enough to bring him out. He spoke at random 
about the pike-training in '98— -that the people were now 
ready enough to fight — they only wanted to be called out 
— and the pike was the best thing for them. He appeared 
to me ridiculously sanguine of success, and to regard the 
men of the present day as poltroons for not taking the 

"I believe I am too 'green' to detect dishonesty very 
readily; and the first impression the scoundrel made on 
me was twofold — that he was a singularly hale old fellow 
for his age, and that he was an infatuated old fool. But 
if I could have felt sure that he was an informer, I would 
have shrunk from In'ni as from a murderer. Sir John 
Gray evidently understood the fellow better, and seemed 
perfectly able for him." 

The grand Jinale of this curious episode remains to be 
told. Shortly after he introduced Duggan to Mr Haverty, 
and after the old spy had time to develop the views indi- 
cated in Mr Haverty's letter, the Doctor suddenly, with 
his eye fixed on him, as though he could read his inmost 
soul, exclaimed : " Barney, you think I do not know you. 
I know you better than you know yourself. Do you re- 
member when you were dressed as a priest at Dundalk 1" 
He writhed, and tried to turn the conversation. Dr Gray 
probed and stabbed him, one by one, with aU the points 
which he had gathered from the informer's own letters to 
Major Sirr. It was pitiable to watch the struggles and 
agonies of the old man ; he was ghastly pale, and he shook 
in every nerve. He finally lost all self-command, and flung 
himself on his knees at the feet of Dr Gray, imploring 
mercy. He seemed to think that pikemen were outside 
ready to rush in and kill him. " Give me," he said, " but 
twelve hours ; I will leave the country, and you will 
never see me again !" He tottered from the room, left 
Ireland, and did not return for many years. Amongst his 
first visits was one to Dr Gray, to whom he confessed his 
guilt, adding that he was near his end. Hb received some 
trifling relief, and shortly after died. 

Preserved with Duggan's letters to Sirr, a nbte in the 
lutograph of the Utter exists, stating that Duggan, uo 


doubt, shot Mr Darragh, a Terrorist, at his own hall-doof, 
in 1791, when in the act of pretending to hand him a let- 
ter ; and further, that Duggan was the man who attempted 
the life of Mr Clarke, in Dublin, on July 22d, 1803. In 
the London Cmrier, of the 30th July following, we find 
fcliis paragraph in a letter from Dublin, descriptive of the 
then state of Ireland : — 

" Mr Clarke, of Palmerstown, a magistrate of the county 
af Dublin, as he was returning from his attendance at the 
Castle, was fired at, on the quay, and dangerously wounded, 
several slugs having been lodged in his shoulder and breast. 
The villain who discharged the blunderbuss at Mr Clarke 
immediately cried out, ' Where did you come from now ? ' 
It appears that two of them, taken by Mr Justice Bell and 
Mr Wilson, were residenters in the neighbourhood of Mr 
Clarke, and had come to thia city from Palmerstown." 

That the man who, in 1803, was overflowing with in- 
dignant disgust at the idea of a magistrate discharging his 
duty by communicating at the Castle news of seditious pro- 
ceedings, should suddenly tergiversate, and, throughout a 
period of nearly half a century, become a mercenary spy to 
the Castle, opens a wide field for thought to those who 
like to study weak humanity. 

We rather think that the long letter published in the 
Duke of Wellington's Irish correspondence, dated Nenagh, 
6th Feb., 1808, is from Duggan. The letter is addressed 
to an understrapper of the Castle, not to the Duke, who, 
however, prefaces it by saymg that it " comes from a man 
who was sent into the counties of Tipperary and Limerick 
to inquire respecting the organisation of Liberty Bangers." 
" They are damned cunning in letting any stranger know 
anything of their doings," writes the spy. " I assure you 
I could not find anything of their secrets, though I have 
tried every artifice, by avowing myself an utter enemy to 
the present constitution, and even drinking seditious toasts, 
though they seemed to like me for so doing, and still I 
could not make any hand of them anywhere, more than to 
find they are actually inclined to rebellion in every quarter 
of the country through which I have passed. Even in the 
mountains they are as bad as in the towns." 

Duggan, durins; the political excitement of the Kepeal 


year, contrived to get himself introduced to many of the 
popular leaders ; and when the intervention of a mutual 
friend was not attainable, he waived ceremony and intro- 
duced himself. Among others on whom he called in this 
way was John Cornelius O'Callaghan, author of the Green 
Book, and designer of the Eepeal Cards, to whom the At- 
torney-Greneral made special reference in the state trials of 
the time. Mr O'Callaghan did not give Duggan much 
incouragement ; but, in order to strengthen his footing, 
Duggan presented him with the following MS., written 
entirely in his own hand, which is now published for the 
first time. The reader must bear in mind that the writer 
was originally a humble artizan, who had received no edu- 
cation beyond that furnished by a hedge school. 

It will be observed that he speaks of himself throughout, 
not in the first person, but as " Bernard O'Dougan." 


" At the time that Mr Kobert Emmet commenced his 
preparations for a revolution in Ireland, in the year 1803, 
he was after returning from France, and there came a few 
gentlemen along with him, Mr Eussell, and Counsellor 
Hamilton,* and Michael Quigley,t who had been nomi- 
nated one of the rebel captains of 1798, and had signed 
the treaty of peace along with the other officers of the 
rebel party of the camp that lay at Prosperous, in the 
county of KUdare ; where the Wexford and Wicklow men 
came and met the KUdare men, who were all invited by a 
flag of truce from Government, and hostages given by the 
generals of the king's troops — namely, Major Cope and 
Captain Courtney, of the Armagh militia, who were kept 
in custody and in charge with Bernard Dougan, for the 
space of two hours, until eighteen of the rebel officers of 
Jhe Wexford, Wicklow, and KUdare, returned back after 

* Daore Hamilton is noticed in Moore's Memoirs, (i. 62,) as the 
attached &iend of Emmet, though "innocent of his plans." There 
can be little doubt, however, that like Bussel, who lost his head, he 
was fully implicated in them. — W. J. P. 

+ Quigley survived until the year 1819. Successive notices of 
him appear in the Nation of that year, p- 137j et seq. 


signing the articles of peace, which was then concluded 
between the Government and the people, and which put an 
end to the rebellion. The conditions were, a free pardon 
to all men acting in furtherance of the rebellion, except 
officers, who were to give themselves up to Government, 
and to remain state prisoners until Government thought it 
safe to let them go into any country they pleased, that 
was not in war with his majesty, which conditions they 
had to sign, and it was called the Banishment Bill. They 
got three days of a parole of honour, to take leave of their 
friends, before they gave themselves up as prisoners. The 
breach of any part of these conditions was, not only to for- 
feit their pardon, but to be treated in any kind of way 
that the Government should think proper. Now, Mr 
Quigley broke these articles when he returned to Ireland 
after signing the Banishment Bill at his liberation and de- 
parture according to agreement, which caused him to as- 
sume the name of Graham in all companies, and none 
knew to the reverse but his own companions who were in 
the depot, and his particular acquaintances in the country, 
who were all true to the cause of his return with Ml 
Emmet ; and none ever discovered or informed in any 
kind of way previous to the failure of the efforts for free- 
dom on the 23d of July 1803, which caused great con- 
sternation to the Government. The Secretary of State, Mr 
Wickham, cried out with astonishment, to think that such 
a preparation for revolution could be carried on in the 
very bosom of the seat of Government, without discovery, 
for so long a time, when any of the party could have 
made their fortunes by a disclosure of the plot, and re- 
marked at the same time, in presence of Mr Stafford, and 
the two Mr Parrots, John and WiUiam, that it was be- 
cause they were mostly all mechanical operatives, or work- 
ing people of the low order of society, that the thing was 
kept so profound ; and said, that if any or a number of the 
higher orders of society, had been connected, they would 
divulge the plot for the sake of gain. These expressions oc- 
curred at the castle, when Quigley, Stafford, and the two 
Parrots were brought prisoners to Dublin from Artfry, in 
the coynty of Gal way, where they fled to after the 
leath of Mr Emmet Bernard O'Dougan was also at 


Artfry, but had escaped frnm being arrested by his 
going in a sailing boat across the Bay of Galway, to make 
out a place of retirement for the whole party, five in num- 
ber, until they would get an account from Dublin, where 
they sent a messenger, who had been arrested and detained 
a prisoner, although being a native of the county of Qalway, 
and no way connected with Mr Emmet, only going on a mes- 
sage to Dublin for these five men, who passed off as bathers 
at the salt water. The messenger was only known to some of 
the pai;ty where he was sent, and could not be arrested with- 
out information of some of that party, who have been found 
out since, and will be treated of in another place. Mr 
Emmet wished to get acquainted with the men that dis- 
tinguished themselves most in the year 1798, and he was 
aware that Quigley knew these men, which was one cause 
for bringing him (Quigley) along with him from France. 
Mr Emmet had also the knowledge of the other men that 
had been in confidence in the year 1798 as delegates, some 
of whom he employed as agents to forward his plans. 
James Hope, from Belfast, was one that he, perhaps, got 
an account of from some of the United Irishmen that were 
in France. Although Hope did not distingiiish himself in 
battle, he was trustworthy, and lived in Dublin at that 
time ; he was a true patriot, and he was soon found out 
for Mr Emmet, and sent to Bernard O'Dougan, who lived 
in Palmerstown. At this time, after O'D. had been libe- 
rated out of Naao gaol, where he had been a state prisoner, 
he was obliged to quit the county Kildare, where he had 
been tried for high treason and the rebellion of 1798, tha 
murder of Captain Swain, and the battle of Prosperous. 
These facts were sworn against him and another young 
man of the name of Thomas Wylde, and proved to tha 
satisfaction of the court, as may be seen by Lord Long- 
ville's speech in the first Parliament after the union of 
Great Britain and Ireland, but were both honourably ac- 
quitted by the Amnesty Act, (though detained as state 
prisoners,) which had been framed according to agreement 
of the peace between the Government and the rebels, as 
hath been. explained heretofore. O'Dougan was called on 
also much at the same time by Quigley and Wylde, on the 
lame business as Hope had with him, giving him to know 

282 Al>P£l*L.iX. 

what was intended by Mr Emmet. On this invitation, B, 
O'Dougan came into Dublin and met Mr Emmet's party. 
At the same time there was but few in number, about five 
or six; but they were confident in the disposition of all 
such of their countrymen, as far as their iufiuence went, 
which was not a little at that time, that they would have 
numbers to join their cause, and was the chief part that 
did come at the day appointed. Henry Howley was 
brought by O'Dougan, and Edward Condon also; H. 
Howley took the depdt in Thomas Street, with its entrance 
in Marshal Lane ; then John Bourk, of Naas, and Eichard 
Eustace, from the same place, and also a young man of the 
name of Joseph White, from the county Eildare, near 
Bathcoffey ; there was another person of the name of 
Christopher Kowlan. These men continued to collect into 
the depdt pikes from the different places where the smiths 
would leave them concealed, and also to bring in the tim- 
ber for the pike handles ; and also powder and balls, and 
to make them into cartridges, and put handles into the 
pikes. These men, for the most part, were always at- 
tendant on the dep6t, preparing the pikes and cartridges, 
and bringing in guns, pistols, and blunderbusses, and all 
other requisites for rockets, &e. Fat Finerty was also em- 
ployed in the dep6t ; and occasionally these men could 
bring several of their own particular friends into the depdt, 
to help the manufacture of cartridges and other prepara- 
tions for rockets, making pikes, and putting handles in 
them. O'Dougan, Bourk, and Condon brought in the 
powder and bails from the different places, but for the 
most part from Hinchey's at the corner of Cuffe Street, 
who was licensed for selling gunpowder, and got it from 
the Government stores, so that there was a vast prepara- 
tion ; and all things went on well until the explosion of 
the depdt in Patrick Street on the evening of the 16th, 
which deranged the projects that were in contemplation. 
O'Dougan, Bourk, and Condon were ordered by Mr Emmet 
to go down to Patrick Street depdt to get the rockets 
filled. It should be remarked that the men of the other 
depots had no recourse to the one in Thomas Street, but 
the particular men of Thomas Street had recourse to all 
places ; and Oougan often went as a guard to protect 


Mr Emmet, lest he should be surprised by any of Major 
Sirr's or any other spy from Government. O'Dougau was 
appointed aide-de-camp to Mr Emmet, but the circum- 
stance of derangement from the time of that explosion 
put everything in confusion and disorder. When these 
three men came into the dep6t in Patrick Street, the pre- 
paration was not in readiness for the rockets, and many 
other disorders existed, which caused O'Dougan, Bourk, 
and Condon to return back to the dep6t in Thomas Street, 
as nothing could be done at that time. It was M'Intosli, 
and the Keenans, Arthur Develin, and George M'Donald, 
and a few others, that were blown up at the time of the 
explosion, some of whom expired in Madame Steevens's 
hospital afterwards ; these were all in the dep6t, and it is 
a great wonder they were not all blown up. O'Dougan, 
Bourk, and Condon were only about a quarter of an hour 
j5one when the explosion took place. It was occasioned 
by the experiments trying on the fusees to know the length 
Df time they would bum, and by neglect let the fire get 
into the joint of the table, where there had been some 
meal powder, which communicated to some saltpetre that 
had been out all day before the sun drying, after it had 
been purified, and which exploded, and almost burst the 
bouse, and kiUed and wounded three, and was near de- 
stroying all that were in the place. The other powders 
escaped the fiame, and nearly all was got safe out of the 
place imperceived, but was attacked by the watchmen, 
who were soon knocked over. There were some secret cells 
in the depdt that were not found out until after the arrest 
of Quigley, which will be treated of elsewhere. Some of 
the men that belonged to the dep6t of Patrick Street were 
brought prisoners to Thomas Street dep6t, and kept con- 
fined until the night of the 23d, particularly Greorge 
M'Donald ; but this shall be treated of in another place. 
There was great apprehension entertained for fear of dis- 
■covery from that time of the explosion, and there was 
great inquiry and look out on the part of Major Sirr and 
his satellites, which caused a precipitate movement in Mr 
Emmet's affairs. The men in the different counties might 
have time to act, as their look-out was the city of Dublin 
to free itself j but the orders from the generals contiguous 


to the city, either not having sufficient time to collect their 
meu, or from other neglect, prevented them from coming 
in according to order and promise. Dwyer was to come 
with his mountain battalions, and the Wexfords were to 
some in thousands ; but none of them made their appear- 
ince up to four or five o'clock, nor any account of them. 
None showed their faces but the men of the county Kil- 
dare, and part of the county Dublin that lay adjacent. 
They came from Naas, Prosperous, and Eilcullen, a few 
from Maynooth and Leixlip, and Lucan a few ; Pal- 
merstown turned out almost to a man. This was the 
place where O'Dougan lived from the time of his libera- 
tion from prison for complicity in the rebellion of 1798, 
and he had great influence among the people of that part 
of the neighbourhood of Dublin, and they were very 
much attached to him ; and O'Dougan had his friends on 
the close look-out, knowing as he did the artfulness and 
the intrigue of Government, being a state prisoner, where 
experience teaches the depth of the artful schemes of 
Government, which no one can fathom except an experi- 
enced state prisoner or some supernatural intelligence to 
instruct them.* O'Dougan was given to understand that 
Mr Clarke t and Captain WUcock, two magistrates of the 
county, were in the knowledge of what was going on in 
Dublin by Mr Emmet O'Dougan immediately let Mr 
Emmet know of this ; whereupon Emmet, seeing how all 
the other expectations were likely to fail, which they did, 
ordered O'Dougan to do it himself, which caused him to 
take a few of the bravest men he had in confidence, and 
placed some between the Castle and the barracks, to stop 
any despatch from one to the other, and a guard to keep 
any communication to or from the commander-in-chief. 
There was but little time to be lost on either side. The 
Government had summoned a privy council to deliberate on 
what was best to be done on their part. Things came so 
sudden on them, it seems they did not know well how to 
act until they would consult. Mr Emmet thought on 

• These ubservations are eminently rich when read in conjunc- 
tion with Duggan's real history. — W. J. P. 

f See the attempt on the life of Mr Cliirte liy Duggan, p. 278. — 
W. J. P. 


taking the whole of the privy council as they sat in the 
Council Chamber,* and accordingly despatched Henry How- 
ley for sis double coaches to carry six men in each coach, 
making in all thirty-six, with blunderbusses and short pikes 
that sprung out at full length with brass ferules on them, 
to keep them straight at full extent ; but when Howley 
was coming with the first coach, and got as far as the lower 
end cf Bridgefoot Street, a circumstance occurred that 
deranged the whole project. A soldier and a countryman 
had a dispute and began to fight. Howley stopped to see 
how the fight would end ; meantime Cornet Brown came 
up and took part with the soldier j at seeing this, Heniy 
Howley opened the coach and advanced to this interfering 
ofScer, and a struggled ensued, and Howley pulled out his 
pistol and shot Comet Brown on the spot, and suddenly 
perceiving a sergeant and a party of soldiers coming over 
Queen's Bridge, which caused him to withdraw and leave 
the coachman and coach there and then ; it was then 
getting late, and no time to procure the coaches. As the 
business of the coaches was left to Howley, none else was 
sent, and all things seemed disappointment. A trooper, 
with despatches, was killed in Thomas Street, and also 
Lord Kilwarden. There appeared no better way to Mr 
Emmet and his staff than to retreat to the country and 
make their escape. They had a little skirmish with the 
military at the upper end of Thomas Street and Francis 
Street, and a little on the Coombe. There were a few 
lives lost at their departure ; and they went out of town as 
far as the mountain foot. At Ballinascomey they separated. 
Mr Robert Emmet returned into town, and his staff repaired 
to the county Ejldare. When O'Dougan returned from 
his post, where he and his party kept the pass, and cut off 

* Mr David ritzgerald, father of the Right Hon. J. D. Fitzgerald, 
mentions in a narrative supplied to Dr Madden, that he walked 
through the Castle Yard, at half-past seven o'clock on the evening 
of Emmet's, j^" There were no preparations; the place was 
perfectly quiet and silent; the gates were wide open ! " Charles 
Phillips, in "Curran and his Contemporaries," says, that on the 
night of Emmet's outbreak, there was not a single ball in the Boyal 
Arsenal would fit the artillery. This apathetic neglect contrasts 
curiously with the activity displayed in fortifying the Castle in 1848, 
and more recently during the Fenian coKspiraoy. — W. J. P. 


all communication to or from the commander-in-chief, it 
■was past eleven o'clock, and all silence over the city; he 
came as far as the dep6t, and went past through Marshal 
Lane and into Thomas Street, as far as Crane Lane, where 
there was a guard of the army stationed, which he could 
discern by stooping, which he did frequently, for it was 
darkness all over the town, and the pikes lay in the street 
up and down, where they were cast away, and the men fled, 
every one to the best place they knew. O'Dougan did not 
know where they went, nor did he hear for the space of 
three days their destination ; but on the third day he got 
intelligence and went to Eathcofifey, where he found a 
number of them who in a few days were proclaimed, and 
three hundred pounds' reward ofiered for them ; and, after 
Mr Emmet's execution, all separated and went to different 
parts to conceal themselves from arrest, as they well knew 
their fate, for there was death without mercy, and the 
innocent as well as the guilty suffered ; and the innocent 
suffered far more than the guilty, for there were but few 
concerned with Mr Emmet that suffered, while numbers 
were hung on the evidence of Kyan and Mahaffy, who 
swore for the sake of getting fifty pounds for every one they 
hung. Mr Emmet and Howley died for the cause ; Ked- 
mond and FeUx Rourke died Mends to the cause, but they 
were not intimately concerned in the insurrection ; " all 
the rest," adds Duggan, "were hung innocent on false 
evidence !" 


So many examples of treachery, perpetrated and 
prompted by Irishmen, have been given in the foregoing 
pages, that it will prove, to Irish readers at least, a refresh- 
ing relief to find Englishmen equally base ; and that the 
legal profession has not been degraded exclusively in Ire- 
land. It wUl also appear from the following, that Mr Pitt, 
the prince of EngUsh statesmen, was not less unscrupulous 
as an instigator than Castlereagh or Sirr. 

" The Rev. William Jackson," observes Mr Charles Phil-r 
lips, "was a clergyman of the Church of England, and 



arrived in Dublin on a treasonable mission from the Com- 
mittee of Public Safety, then sitting in Paris. Having 
been fonnerly secretary to the Duchess of Kingston, he 
wrote her letters in the celebrated correspondence with 
Foote the actor. In her house he made the acquaintance 
of her attorney, a Mr Cockaigne, and, unhappily for him- 
self, now renewed that acquaintance on his passage through 
London. It was my lot in after-life to have had a singular 
interview with this man. Somewhere about the year 1822, 
after I had been some short time at the English bar, a tall 
and venerable figure entered my chambers with a brief, 
wMch he presented with much courtesy. There was some- 
thing, however, unusual in his manner. He lingered and 
hesitated, and seemed as if doubtful what to do. At last 
it was all explained. ' To tell you the truth, sir,' said he, 
' I have ventured to make this brief the medium of an 
introduction to you. Some occurrences took place in 
Dublin many years ago, with which I was mixed up ; and 
as you may have heard of them, perhaps you would permit 
me to give my explanation— my name is Cockaigne !' I 
felt for the moment as if stunned. The man had long 
been matter of history to me. I had thought him in his 
grave. Yet there he stood, the survivor of his victim and 
his patron, still living on the wages that had purchased 
life ! I had hardly nerve enough to say to him, ' Sir, 
when I tell you that I was the intimate friend of Mr 
Curran, and often spoke with him on the wretched Jack- 
son's fate, you must see the inutility of any explanation. 
He uttered not a syllable, and left the room. Jackson 
was in difSculties, and, it was said, had received relief 
from Cockaigne; hence arose an intimacy. He revealed 
the treasonable mission to his friend, and his friend re- 
vealed it to the minister. Mr Pitt desired Cockaigne to 
accompany Jackson on his embassy, to encourage his con- 
fidence and treasure up its fruits. It was during Bowan's 
imprisonment that they arrived in Ireland, and by Mac- 
nally, a barrister,* (who had known Jackson,) they were 
introduced to him in Newgate, and also to Theobald Wolfe 
Tone. The plans of Jackson were discussed amongst them, 

* Mr Phillips always refused to believe in iht now idmitted 
duplicity of Macnally. See p. '2i9, ante. 


and Tone consented to proceed to France, accredited by 
Jackson to the committee, in order to disclose the state of 
Ireland, and discuss the policy of a French invasion. The 
officiousness of Cockaigne, however, seems to have alarmed 
Tone, and he resigned his mission with the shrewd remark, 
' This business is one thing for us Irishmen, but the Eng- 
lishman who embarks in it must be a traitor one way or 
the other.' 

" Ms William Curran, in his very admirable life of his 
father, relates a hateful anecdote of this man. MacnaUy, 
counsel in most of the high-treason cases, entertained the 
strangers at dinner. The conversation was getting impru- 
dent, when the butler, beckoning his master out of the 
room, warned him to be careful, ' for, sir, the strange 
gentleman who seems to be asleep is not so, but carefuUy 
listening to everything that is said, for I have seen his eye 
glistening through the fingers with which he is covering 
his face.' This was Cockaigne ! — in the midst of convi- 
viality lying in wait for life. At length Tone drew up a 
paper for the French committee, detaiKng the actual state 
of Ireland. This was copied and given to Jackson, who 
intrusted it to Cockaigne to put in the post, under cover, 
to a confidant at Hamburg. The pear was now ripe. The 
traitor having given the signal to headquarters, he waa 
himself arrested, and the farce was performed of his ex- 
amination by the Privy Council. This, of course, was a 
bUnd, but proved so effectual, that after Jackson's arrest, 
which ensued immediately, he and Bowan received Cock- 
aigne's condolatory visit in prison, and heard and believed 
his friendly protestations. Jackson, after twelve months' 
imprisonment, was tried and convicted of high treason on 
the evidence of the single witness, Cockaigne ! When 
Jackson was called up for judgment, a very melancholy 
scene ensued. His appearance in the dock, from tha 
moment of his entrance, indicated extreme indisposition. 
Gradually becoming worse and worse, during the addressei 
of Messrs Curran and Ponsonby, his counsel, he at last 
sank down exhausted. Lord Clonmel, seeing it, said, " II 
the prisoner is insensible, it is impossible for me to pio- 
nounce judgment on him." A medical man, who hap- 
pened to be in court, was requested to examine the prisoner. 


Having done so, he declared that he was dying. In a fe-vi 
minutes, Jackson was dead ! 

Lord Clonmel— " Let an inquest, and a respectable on«^ 
be held on the body. You should carefully inquire by 
what means he died." 

The body lay all night in the dock, and next day a jury 
found that he had taken poison. There could have been 
no doubt of it. Soon after he appeared the day before, 
seeing Mr MacNally pass, he grasped his hand, and faintly 
whispered, " We have deceived the senate." 

Curran ably defended the Kev. Wm. Jackson in a speed 
^hich thus concluded : — " Cockaigne came over to be is 
spy — to be a traitor — to get a pardon, and to get a reward; 
although, if you believe him, it was to be all commoK 
agreeable work, to be paid for, like his other ordinary busi- 
ness, by the day, or by the sheet. He was to be paid so 
much a day for ensnaring and murdering his client and his 
friend ! Do you think the man deserving of credit who 
can do such things ? No, gentlemen of the jury : I have 
stated the circumstances by which, in my opinion, the 
iredit of Mr Cockaigne should be as nothing in your eyes." 


Sir Jonah Barrington, whose name we have frequently 
mentioned, published a work entitled " Personal Sketches," 
containing many anecdotes illustrative of the Sham Squire's 
times ; but we ha*-e been sparing in our references to that 
book, for, however pleasant as light reading, it is not 
Hrholly reliable as historical authority. The truth is, that 
Sir Jonah was in needy circumstances when the " Personal 
Sketches " appeared, and no doubt exaggerated his already 
hyperbolical style, in order to raise the wind still higher, 
though he says in his introduction : " It was commenced 
by no means for mercenary purposes," (voL i., p. 1.) It was 
remarked to us by the late Mr P. V. Fitzpatrick, who as a 
\(m raconteur might be styled " Sir Jonah Barrington secun- 
dus," that he heard him tell the stories very differently from 
the sensational style of theii subsequent appearance j and 


that he knew Thomas CoUey Grattan, the novelist, to claim 
the chiet merit of the " Personal Sketches," as having sug- 
gested the work and manipulated the MS. But even in 
personal conversation, as we have been assured by the late 
John Patten, Sir Jonah's statements were always distrusted; 
although a judge, he was not a man of truth or principle, 
and many pleasant anecdotes might be told illustrative 
of this remark, but the Blue Book ordered by the House 
of Commons to be printed the 9th of February 1829, 
pillories Sir Jonah on the most legitimate authority. This 
volume has not been consulted by the writers who have 
hitherto noticed the eccentric knight. Before examining 
it, we may observe that the result of the disclosures therein 
contained, was Sir Jonah's dismissal from the bench. This 
was inconvenient, as the salary dropped at the same time ; 
but his inexhaustible astuteness in a dilemma proved, as 
usual, wonderful. 

Barrington bethought him of a letter which he had re- 
ceived, many years before, from the Duke of Clarence, who 
was now reigning as William the Fourth. Barrington had 
shown considerable kindness to Mrs Jordan, at a time when 
his bar contemporary, Gould, and others, had treated her 
slightingly, and even introduced her to his own family. 
The duke wrote a warm letter of thanks to Barrington, 
and expressed a hope that it might be in his power, at 
some future day, to attest his appreciation of kindness so 
disinterested. Barrington overhauled his papers — ^which, 
by the way, he sold as autographs a few years later — and 
having found the old letter in question, forwarded it to the 
king. A rather stiff reply came by return of post, to say 
that no one knew better than Sir Jonah Barrington the 
very material diiference which existed between the Duke 
of Clarence and the King of England, and that it was 
impossible to recognise, in his then position, every acquaint- 
ance whom he might have known when acting in a com- 
paratively subordinate capacity. His majesty, however, 
who possessed a heart of unusual warmth, and a memory 
of past friendship singularly acute and retentive, wrote a 
private letter to Sir Jonah by the same jjost which con> 
veyed the official answer, recognising the claim, and be- 


stowing upon him a pension from the Privy Purse, exactly 
equal in amount with the forfeited stipend.* 

To come now to the Blue Book. 

Keferring to the ship Nancy and its cargo, which were 
sold by the marshal under a commission of appraisement 
in December 1805, we read: — "It appears that in this 
cause alone Sir Jonah Barrington appropriated to his own 
use out of the proceeds £482, 8s. 8d. and £200, making 
together £682, 8s. 8d., and never repaid any part of either ; 
and that the registrar is a loser in that cause to the amount 
of £546, lis. 4d."t 

In the case of the Redstrand, Sir Jonah also netted 
some booty. On the 12th January 1810, the sum of £200 
was paid iuto court on account of the proceeds in this 
cause, " and the same day," adds the report, " Sir Jonah 
Barrington, by an order in his own handwriting which has 
been produced to us, directed the registrar to lodge that 
sum to his (the judge's) credit in the bank of Sir WiK Jm 
Gleadowe Newcomen, which he accordingly did. Subse- 
quently a petition having been presented to the court by 
Mr Henry Pyne Masters, one of the salvagers, Sir Jonah 
wrote an order at foot of it, bearing date the 29th day of 
May 1810, directing the registrar to pay to the petitioner 
a sum of £40 ; and at the .same time he wrote a note to 
Mr Masters, requesting that he would not present the order 
for two months ; at the close of which period Sir Jonah 
left Ireland, and never since returned." — Ibid., p. 10. 

Sir Jonah's circumstances at this time were greatly em- 
barrassed, and his last act on leaving Ireland was one of a 
most unscrupulous character, as shall appear anon. In 
the Dublin Patriot, then edited by Eichard Barrett, we 
read the following paragraph, which is quite in Sir Jonah's 
atyle, having evidently for its object the diversion of sus- 
picion from the real grounds of his exile. " His chest," 
it is true, was not in a satisfactory state, but it was the 
money chest rather than the bodily trunk which seems to 
have been chiefly affected. 

" Sir Jonah Barrington has resided at Boulogne for the 

• Communicated by the late P. V. Fitzpatrick, Esq. 

t Eighteenth Report o \ Courts of Justice in Ireland, p. 9. 

292 ArPEN"Dix. 

last three years. His health, we regret to state, is by ne 
means perfect, but, on the contrary, has for some years 
been very precarious. Under his patent he has the right 
of appointing surrogates to act for him — a right of which 
he cannot be deprived. The duties of his situation have 
been, and continue to be discharged, in his absence, by the 
very competent gentlemen who have been appointed, Mr 
fameson, Mr Mahafiy, and Mr Holwell Walshe." * 

The commissioners requested Sir Jonah's attendance ini 
Dublin in order to give him every opportunity of vindi- 
cation ; but he declined on the plea of infirmity and the- 
difficulty of transit, for which, in 1828, he may have hadi 
some excuse. The commissioners, before closing their 
report, strained a point, and enclosed to Sir Jonah copies 
of the evidence. On the 2d August 1828, after acknow- 
ledging the receipt of the minutes, he wrote : — 

" Be assured, not one hour shall be unnecessarily lost in 
transmitting to you my entire refutal ; and I am too im- 
patient to do away any impression that such evidence must 
have excited, that I cannot avoid anticipating that refutal 
generally, by declaring solemnly, ' So help me God,' before 
whom age and infirmity must soon send me, that the whole 
and entire of that evidence, so far as it tends to inculpate me, 
is totally, utterly, and unequivocally false and unfoimded." 

" This, and passages of a similar tendency in subsequent 
letters," observe the commissioners, " are, however, the 
»nly contradiction or explanation of the foregoing facts 
given by Sir Jonah ; and, undoubtedly, although unsworn, 
so distinct and unqualified a contradiction would have had 
much weight with us, had the alleged facts been supported 
by the parole testimony only of the officer. But when 
we find the handwriting of Sir Jonah himself supporting the 
statement of the vdtness, we cannot avoid giving credit to his 
evidence, and must lament that the judge did not adopt 
measures for reviving his recollection, previously to commit- 
ting himself to a general assertion of the falsehood of the 
entire evidence of Mr Pineau, so far as related to him, 
which is alj that on this subject his numerous and very 
long letters have afforded us." 

* See Patriot of Decemljer 29, 1822, and Ca.rrick'8 Morning Poil^ 
Januaiy 1. 1823. 


Some of Sir Jonah's defalcations in the Court of Admi- 
ralty were made good at the time by the registrar, Mr 
IPineau, hoping to screen the judge from exposure, and 
-.trusting to his honour for reimbursement at a moment of 
Jess embarrassment. Mr Pineau wrote to remind him of 
the liability j and in a letter dated Boulogne, 4th August 
1825, we find Sir Jonah coolly saying : " I have no doubt 
you will believe me, I have not the most remote recollection 
of the circumstance in question." * And again : " Age 
(closing seventy) and much thought has blunted my recol- 
lection of numerous events." 

The registrar drew up an elaborate statement of the cir- 
cumstances, with facts and figures, but Sir Jonah's memory 
was still unrefreshed. In a letter dated 5 Rue du Colys6e, 
Paris, 3d Oct. 1827, he writes : " It is not surprising that 
(after closing twenty years) the concern you mention is 
totally out of my memory." + 

Any person who has read the works of Sir Jonah Bar 
lington cannot fail to have been struck with the marvelloui 
retentiveness of his memory for minute details. " The Eis( 
and Fall of the Irish Nation" was published in 1 SSI- 
six years after his letters to Mr Pineau — and in 183( 
appeared the memorable " Personal Sketches of his owr 
Times," in which, after alluding to a misunderstanding 
between Messrs Daly and Johnson, Sir Jonah adds : " One 
of the few things I ever forgot is the way in which .that 
affair terminated : it made Uttle impression on me at the 
time, and so my memory rejected it." % The embezzle- 
ment of considerable sums could only be rejected by an 
eminently treacherous memory, although Sir Jonah in his 
memoirs tells us : "I never loved money much in my 

Barrington's habitual exaggeration in story-telling would 
appear to be an old weakness. Describing the events of 
the year 1796, he says that " Curran and he" coined 
stories to tell each other ; the lookers on laughed almost 

* Beport, p. 154. Italics in orig. 

t Report, p. 156. Sir Jonah goes on to say ; ■' The Irish Qovem- 
meat have no sort of authority to order any returns from the officer* 
of my court, and I decUne such authority." 

X Ibid. Personal Sketches, vol. i.. j>. 405. 

§ Ihid., vol. i., p. 227, 

294 Ai-PKNDIX. 

to convulsions.* An indulgence in exaggeration, Sir Jonah 
geemed to regard both as a predominant passion and a 
venial sin. Sir Kichard Musgrave, we are told, " under- 
stood drawing the long bow as well as most people." t 
Sir Jonah possessed a large share of " cheek," and both as 
a startling story-teller and successful negotiator in money 
transactions, this quality stood his friend. So early as 
1799, the author of " Sketches of Irish Political Charac- 
ters "says: "He is supposed to have pretty much the 
same idea of blushing that a blind man has of colours." 

One very amusing illustration of Sir Jonah's astuteness 
as a trickster is not included in the Blue Book. He had 
pledged his family plate for a considerable sum to Mr John 
Stevenson, pawnbroker, and member of the Common Coun- 
cil. " My dear fellow," said the knight, condescendingly, as 
he dropped in one day to that person's private closet, " I 
am in a d — 1 of a hobble. I asked, quite impromptu, the 
Lord-Lieutenant, Chancellor, and Judges, to dine with me, 
forgetting how awkwardly I was situated ; and, by Jove, 
they have written to say they'll come ! Of course I could 
not entertain them without the plate ; I shall require it 
for that evening only ; but it must be on one condition — 
that you come yourself to the dinner and represent the 
Corporation. Bring the plate with you, and take it back 
again, at night." The pawnbroker was dazzled ; although 
not usually given to nepotism, he obligingly embraced the 
proposal. During dinner, and after it^ Sir Jonah plied 
" his uncle " well with wine. The pawnbroker had a bad 
head for potation, though a good one for valuation ; he fell 
asleep and under the table almost simultaneously; and when 
he awoke to full consciousness, Sir Jonah, accompanied by 
the plate, had nearly reached Boulogne, never again to visit 
his native land ! 

Sir Jonah made another " haul " before leaving Ireland. 
Mr Fennell Collins, a rich saddler, who resided in Dame 
Street, lent "the Judge" £3000, on what seemed tolerable 
security; but one farthing of the money was never re- 
covered. A hundred similar stories might be told.J Every- 
body has heard of Barrington, the famous pickpocket ; but 

* Persoaal Sketclies, vol. i., p. 381. f Ibid., vol. i., p. 211 . 

+ See Life of Thomas Reynolds, by his Son, p. 853, vol. ii., &c. 

emmet's insueeection. 296 

the equally dexterous though more refined achievements of 
his titled namesake will be new to many. 

" The unrighteous borroweth, but payeth not again," saith 
Psalm xxxvii. 21. Sir Jonah could not even return a 
book To assist him in his work on the Union, the late 
Mr Conway lent him, for a few weeks, the file of the 
Dublin Evening Post for 1798; but it never could be got 
back, and was afterwards sold with Sir Jonah's effects. 

We wish we could be sure that Sir Jonah's dishonourable 
acts were no worse than pecuniary juggling. Dr Madden 
is of opinion that Barrington, although a pseudo patriot 
deserves to be classed among the informers of '98. In 
April 1798, he dined in Wexford at Lady Colclongh's, and 
on the following day with B. Bagenal Harvey. Popu- 
lar politics were freely talked ; and on Sir Jonah's return 
to Dublin, as he himself tells us, he informed Secretary 
Cooke that Wexford would immediately revolt. Nearly all 
Sir Jonah's friends whom he met at the two dinner parties 
— one a relation of his own — were hanged within three 
months ; and on his next visit to Wexford, he recognised 
their heads spiked in front of the jaU ! 

Colclough and Harvey were Protestant gentlemen of very 
considerable landed property in Wexford. Their discovery 
in a damp cave on the Saltee Islands, through the blood- 
hound instinct of an old friend, Dr Waddy, a physician of 
vTexJord, is invested with a painfully romantic interest. 
George Cruikshank has executed an effective sketch of this 
tragic incident. 


Emmet's revolt exploded on the evening of July 23, 
1803. Mr Philhps, in " Curran and his Contemporaries," 
writes : — 

" Lord Kilwarden, the then Chief-Justice, was returning 
from the country, and had to pass through the very street 
of the insurrection. He was recognised, seized, and inhu- 
manly murdered, against all the entreaties and commands 
of Emmet. This is supposed to have disguste4 £md 4ebiU- 
tete4 bim." 


A curious reason is assigned in a MS. before ua for Lord 
Kilwarden " passing through the very street of the insur- 
rection." The MS. autobiography of the late Serenus 
Kelly, a well-known monk, was placed in our hands ty the 
writer, on his death-bed, at Tullow, in 1859. Serenu* 
was ill Lord Kilwarden's house on the evening of his 
death : — 

" Colonel Finlay sent a message to Lord Kilwarden at 
seven o'clock on the evening of his lordship's lamented 
death, apprising him that Dublin was about to be disturbed 
by a second rebellion, and an attempt to take the Castle. 
Lord Kilwarden ordered his carriage, and went over to 
speak to Colonel Finlay on the subject, to satisfy himself 
of the truth of the report. He took with him into Dublin 
his daughter and nephew, and directed the coachman to 
drive to the Castle through Dolphin's Bam, to avoid pay- 
ing turnpike from his seat, called Newlands, situate between 
Tallaght and ClondaMn, on the Naas road." [Here the 
usual details of the emeute are given.] " One of the in- 
surgents asked who came there. The coachman answered, 
ignorant of their design, ' Lord KUwarden.' With that 
they pulled his lordship out, saying it was he condemned 
the Sheares,* and they gave him, upon the spot, fourteen 
pike stabs, of which he died about eleven o'clock next 
morning. Mr Downing, the gardener, went to see his lord- 
ship, and he heard Major Sirr say he would hang a man 
for every hair on his head : to which his lordship replied : 
' Let no man suffer in consequence of my death, unless by 
f'he regular operation of the laws.' 

" This was said about eight o'clock on Sunday morning 
while he lay in a guard-bed in Vicar Street, weltering in 
his gore. As to Emmet, I did not wish to witness his 
execution ; but I saw the gallows erected, and a thrill of 
horror pervaded my blood as I observed the noose, black 
and greasy from the numbers it had launched into eternity." 

The person who received .flOOO, on 1st November 1803, 
for the discovery of Robert Emmet, stUl preserves his in- 
eognito. Dr Madden, quoting from the Secret Service 
Money Record, says that " the above sum was paid inU. 

* The mob confounded Lord Kilwarden witb Lord Caxleton. 
See p. 204, ance. 


Finlay's Bank to the account of Bichard Jones : " and he 
adds that the circumstance of lodging the money in the 
hands of a banker leads to the conclusion that the informer 
was not of humble rank, 

" Who was this gentleman Bichard Jones !" asks Dr 
Madden. For whom was the money paid to account of 
Richard Jones ? 

" In the county Wicklow there was a family of the name 
of Jones, of KiUencarrig, near Delgany. In 1815 there was 
I brewery kept there by a family of that name. They 
were Protestants — quiet people, who did not meddle with 

" In the county Dublin, at Ballinascomey, near where 
Emmet was concealed for some time, there was also a 
family of the name of Jones, small farmers, Catholics. 

" There was a gentleman of the name of Jones, the Right 
lion. Theophilus Jones, a member of the Privy Council, a 
eollecter of revenue. He lived at Cork Abbey, Bray. He 
was a humane, good man in ' the troubles,' and interested 
himself much for the people. 

" There were two attorneys of the name of Bichard 
Jones living in Dublin at the period of Emmet's capture." — 
United Irishmen, vol. i. p. 392. 

As Dr Madden desires to ventUate this question, we wiU 
drop a suggestion, tending, perhaps, to throw some light 
on it. In the BvMin Evening Post of March 2, 1784, 
particular reference is made to Bichard Joues, Esq., a very 
eflScient justice of the peace, constantly on foot in sup- 
port of law and order, and praised by the Castle journals 
for his activity. There was also a very popular comedian, 
named Bichard Jones, attached to Crow Street Theatre at 
this time. He mixed much in the liberal and Catholic 
society of Dublin, and must have been well known to Mr 
Long and Mr David Fitzgerald, both of Crow Street. The 
two last named, as appears from " The Life of Emmet," 
Wer* deep in the confidence of the young insurgent. 

208 Afi^EHDia. 


Robert Emmet, when asked if he had anything to say 
why sentence of death should not be pronounced upon 
him, delivered an eloquent oration, which thus concluded : 
— -" Let no man write my epitaph ; for, as no man who 
knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not pre- 
judice or ignorance asperse them; let them rest in obscurity 
and peace ! Let my memory be left in oblivion, and my 
tomb remain uninscribed, until other times and other men 
can do justice to my character. When my country takes 
her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till 
then, let my epitaph be written. I have done !" 

Notwithstanding the interest attaching to the name of 
Emmet, the locality of his final resting-place and unin- 
scribed stone has been hitherto undetermined. 

A correspondent of the Irishman newspaper has re- 
quested information as to whether the " uninscribed tomb 
of Robert Emmet is the one pointed out in St Michan's 
churchyard ? I am aware that the question has been often 
asked, and, as appeared to me, not satisfactorily answered. 
I arrived at this conclusion owing to the absence of any in- 
formation by members of the Emmet family. My reason 
for asking the question is, being in the vestry of St Peter's, 
Dublin, some short time ago, I was told by the men con- 
nected therewith that Emmet was positively/ interred close 
to the footpath, (left gate,) or near to where the oid watch- 
house stood, and was pointed out to them, as they stated, 
by some member or acquaintance of the family from America 
some few years ago. If there be nothing for it but the 
uninscribed tomb of Michan's, I would be inclined to think 
that Peters was the place, as tombs of the above descrip- 
tion are not so very rare." 

It is not the remains of Robert Emmet, the orator and 
insurgent leader, but of his father, Robert Emmet, State 
Physician, which are interred in St Peter's churchyard. 
The latter died on the 9th of December 1802, and was 
buried in St Peter's, three days afterwards, according to an 
nflS-cial certificate furnished to Dr Madden. The motkei' of 


young Robert Emmet is likewise interred in the same 

Another correspondent of the journal just quoted said : — 
" No aUusion has been made to James's parish cemetery. 
The sexton told me about two years ago that there was a 
registration of his having been interred there. This is not 
at all improbable, it being so near the place of his execu- 
tion. It is a sad thing that such discrepancy should exist." 

Owing to this suggestion, we carefully examined the 
Burial Eegister of St James's Church, held by the parish 
clerk, Mr Falls, but no trace of Emmet's interment can be 
found in it. 

We had the pleasure, soon after, of a conversation with 
John Patten when in his eighty-seventh year. This gentle- 
man was the brother-in-law of Thomas Addis Emmet. He 
told us that having been a state prisoner in 1803, he was 
not present at Emmet's funeral. He had no authentic in- 
formation on the subject, but, according to his impression, 
Robert Emmet had been buried in Bully's Acre — also 
known as the Hospital Fields ; and that the remains were 
from thence removed to Michan's churchyard, where the 
ashes of Bond and the Sheareses rest. He added that 
Doctor Gamble of St Michan's, the clergyman who at- 
tended Emmet in his last moments, was a not unlikely 
person to have got the remains removed from Bully's Acre 
to St Michan's. 

A literary friend of ours, Mr Hercules Ellis, was speak- 
ing of Emmet and the uninscribed tomb at a dinner party, 
when a gentleman present corrected the error under which 
he conceived Mr Ellis laboured respecting the place of his 

" It was not in Michan's churchyard," he said, " but in 
Glasnevin, and I speak on the best authority, for my late 
father was the incumbent there at the time, and I repeatedly 
heard him say that he was brought out of his bed at the 
dead of night to perform the burial service over Emmet. 
There were only four persons present, two women and two 
men. One of the men he understood to be Dowdall, the 
natural son of Hussy Burgh, and one of the ladies Sarah 
Curran, who had been betrothed to Emmet. The corpse 
was conveyed through '»• littip w'aa'ow door leading into th« 


old churchyati of Glasnevin from the handsome demesni 
of Delville, formerly the residence of Dean Delany." 

With interest awakened by this tradition we visited th» 
classic grounds of Delville, and the old graveyard adjacent, 
uccompanied by Mr Ellis, the great-grandson of the wife 
of Dean Delany, to the memory of both of whom a tablet, 
almost smothered in ivy, is set in the churchyard wall — 
the boundary which divides their former residence from 
their final resting-place. We learned from the gardener 
who acted as cicerone that there was a tradition precisely 
to the effect of the statement made by the clergyman's son. 
Our conductor having unlocked a narrow door which leads 
to the little cemetery, pointed out a grass-grown grave and 
uninscribed head-stone immediately to the left on entering. 

The entire aspect of the place forcibly recalled to our 
mind Moore's description of Emmet's grave : — 
" Oh, breathe not his name, let it sleep in the shade, 
Where, cold and unhonoured, his relics are laid ; 
Sad, silent, and dark, be the tears that we shed. 
As the night-dew that falls on the grass o'er his head. 

But the night-devr that falls, though in silence it weeps, 
Shall brighten with verdure the grave where he sleeps." 

This description, by the early friend and college chum of 
Emmet, is entirely applicable to the picturesque green 
grave near classic Delville and the deserted village of Glas- 
nfcvin,* but is inappropriate to the huge flat flag, excluding 
every blade of grass, in St Michan's, Church Street, Dub- 
lin. It is not easy to understand how a tomb thus situ- 
ated could " brighten with verdure." Moore would appear 
to have had rather the grass-grown grave at Delville in 
his mind than the flat, dusty stone in a back street of 

* Many a pleasant day Addison, as he tells us, passed among 
these picturesque grounds. Tiokell, his executor, resided in the 
adjacent demesne, now known as the Botanical Gardens, and Par- 
nell the poet was vicar of a neighbouring hamlet. Swift has cele- 
brated the beauties of Delville in prose and verse, to the inspiration 
of which Stella not a little contributed. In a retired grotto may bs 
setn a fine medallion likeness of Stella, in excellent preservation, 
from the artistic hand of Mrs Delany, with the inscription, " Pasti- 
gia despicit urbis," composed by Swift. Several old basement rooms 
are shown as the site of the private printing presses employed by 
Swift and Delany. 


The following letter from the late Dr Petrie, the father 
Df Irish archaeology, tends the more to corroborate our 
views, as it was written before he had seen the above, or 
even heard the substance of it. The letter possesses addi- 
tional interest from the fact that it is one of the last penned 
by Petrie : — 

" 7 Charlemont Place, Nw). 10, 1865. 
" My dbar Sir, — According to my recollections and 
belief, derived from the best local authorities, the grave of 
poor Emmet is in the churchyard of Glasnevin, and is situ- 
ated at one side, the left, as I think, of a private doorway, 
which gave to the family occupying Delville House a direct 
passage to the church, and thus enabled them to avoid 
coming round through the town to the service. — Believe 
me, my dear sir, most truly yours, 

" George Petrie. 

" P.S. — The above was written before I read the printed 
paper which yon enclosed." 

(Firfepp. 152-159.) 

After several letters of inquiry on the subject appeared, 
it was urged by the Irish Times, in a voluminous leading 
article, that a royal commission should be appointed to in 
quire into the condition and revenues of the charities be- 
queathed by Higgins and others, and expressed a hope that 
Parliament would at once take the matter in hand. 

Complaint having been made that a letter which ap- 
peared in a morning paper from the Governor of the Four 
Courts Marshalsea, had been omitted from the Appendix 
to the first edition of this work, we now supply it, together 
■with an answer which it elicited : — 

" 17, Mount Street, Grosvenor Square, 
January, 4, 1865. 
* Sir, — In your paper of yesterday I see an article on 


the bequests of two gentlemen to the Four Courts Mar- 
shalsea, for charitable purposes. The will referred to pro- 
vided that each prisoner who had taken the pauper declara- 
tion should be provided with a dinner of beef and bread on 
Christmas-day and Easter Monday, and that the balance 
should be applied to discharging some of the poor debtors ; 
but at the time this will was made there were prisoners 
confined for sums considerably under three pounds. How- 
jver, there have been few there for several years under 
debts of ten pounds ; consequently, a short time after my 
appointment to my present position, (now thirteen years 
ago,) I brought the matter under the consideration of the 
three chaplains, and represented to them that if they 
thought proper to apply the balance after the dinners re- 
ferred to, one or two prisoners could only be benefited in 
the manner pointed out. They accordingly decided that a 
sum of £1, 10s. (since raised to £2 in consequence of a 
change in the Stamp Act) should be applied for the pur- 
pose of filing the schedules of those prisoners who had no 
means of paying the expenses of taking the benefit of the 
Insolvency Act, which was carrying out as far as possible 
the desire of the testators. Since this arrangement I have 
always obtained ample means for filing the schedules of all 
those whom I found deserving of the favour ; had I not 
done so, I should have requested the Lord Mayor for the 
time being to have curtailed the allowance of beef and 
bread on Easter and Christmas. His releasing a man from 
prison is of more importance than giving each pauper more 
than ten times as much as the testator designed. 

" In conclusion, I have to remark that the bequests 
with which the Lord Mayor has nothing to do only pro- 
duce a small sum, and is more at the disposal of the prison 
chaplains on these occasions. It frequently is a source of 
regret to me that the wiU only refers to pauper prisoners, 
it frequently occurring that the most distressed inmates of 
the Four Courts Marshalsea are those who support them- 
jelves without the Government allowance, and have, alas ! 
too often to subsist on two very scanty meals in the day.— 
I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

" E. H. Caulfield, Marshal." 


"January 10, 1865. 
" SiK, — As I was the first to call attention in your 
Bolumns to the distribution of the charities, I beg to depre- 
cate the equivocal letter of the Governor on the subject. 
I would suggest an application to his Excellency the Lord- 
Lieutenant, with a view to the exhibition of the wills on 
the walls of the prison, and an order to the Board of 
Charitable Bequests to see that they are carried out in 
their integrity." 

Mr Caulfield is under an erroneous impression in sup- 
posing that the Lord Mayor has " nothing to do" with the 
Higgins Bequest. In his wiU, it is specially directed that 
the Lord Mayor for the time being shall distribute the 
charity. We are assured by the Secretary to the Board o' 
Charitable Bequests that they have got a copy of the 
Sham Squire's wUl, and do all in their power to make the 
Bequest be carried out in its integrity. Hitherto, the 
money so distributed by the Lord Mayor has been errone- 
ously announced in the newspapers as the personal chari- 
ties of that functionary; but steps have been taken by the 
Board of Charitable Bequests to prevent such borrowed 
plumes from being again displayed. 

(P. 62, ante.) 

The history of Judge Johnson, whose name occurs in a 
previous page as counsel for the Sham Squire, discloses 
some curious features. 

In "The Step-ladder" of General Cockburne, we obtained 
a view of the Backstairs Cabinet, who carried on the govern- 
ment of Ireland, to the almost utter exclusion of the Vice- 
roy, during the reign of terror. This clique was succeeded 
by another, less sanguinary but equally mischievous. Lord 
Hardwicke, who became Lord Lieutenant in 1801, was a 
prim but pliant nonentity, personally amiable, though easily 


made a tool of by designing men. He stood a vapid ciph« 
in the midst of a cluster of figures. Every newspaper in 
the country applauded his policy. Even the Dublin Even- 
ing Post, the long-recognised organ of Irish nationality, 
flung the censer with unceasing energy. Emmet's speech 
in the dock* — one of the most eloquent and touching on 
record — was suppressed by the Post, with the exception of 
a few garbled passages, more calculated to damage his posi- 
tion than to serve as his vindication.t 

To the plausibility of Lord Hardwicke's government, 
men hitherto considered as stanch patriots fell victims. 
Grattan eulogised him ; Plunket accepted office. The press 
teemed with praise ; the people were cajoled. One man 
only was found to tear aside the curtain which concealed 
the policy and machinery of the so-called Hardwicke ad- 
ministration. A judge, with .£3600 a year from Govern- 
ment, was perhaps the last man likely to take this course. 
And yet we find Judge Johnson penning in his closet a 
series of philippics under the signature of " Juverna." He 
declared that Lord Hardwicke was bestrode by Mr Justice 
Osborne, Messrs Wickham and Marsden, and by " a Chan- 
cery Pleader from Lincoln's Inn," which was immediately 
recognised as Lord Chancellor Eedesdale. Giving rein to 
his indignation and expression to his pity, he exhorted Ire- 
land to awaken from its lethargy. The main drift of the 
letters was to prove that the government of a harmless man 
was not necessarily a harmless government. The printer 
was prosecuted, but to save himself he gave up the Judge's 
MS. I Great excitement greeted this disclosure, and Judge 
Johnson descended from the bench, never again to mount it. 

* See p. 298, anU. 

t Frequent payments to " H. B. Code " appear in the Secret 
Service Money Book, in 1802-3. This individual was engaged to 
conduct the Post during the long and painful illness of John 
Magee ; but for paltry bribes he quite compromised its politics, until 
John Magee, junior, rescued the paper from his bands. Mr Code 
subsequently received, under Mr Beresford, an appointment of £900 
a year in the revenue. A notice of him appears in Watty Cox's 
Hagasine for 1813, p. 131. 

J Lord Clonourry, in his " Personal Recollections," says, (2d edit., 
p. 253,) "The manuscript, although sworn by a crown witness to be 
in Mr Johnson's handwriting, was actually written by his daughter. 
This circumstance he might have piuved ; but as he could not do m 


A public trial took place, of which the report fills two 
portly volumes ; and the Judge was found guilty. Before 
receiving sentence, however, the Whigs came into power, 
and Johnson was allowed to retire with a pension. Bull 
he considered that he had been hardly dealt with ; and the 
prosecution had the effect of lashing the Judge into down- 
right treason. He became an advocate for separation, dressed 
a la militaire, and wrote essays, suggesting, among other 
weapons of warfare to be used in " the great struggle ol 
national regeneration," bows, arrows, and pikes. The "Jour- 
nals and Life of Tone," the ablest organiser of the United 
Irish Project, was published at Washington in 1 828. Publio 
attention was immediately called to it by a book, printed 
in English at Paris, entitled " A Commentary on the Lif a 
of Theobald Wolfe Tone," which has always been confidently 
pronounced as the work of Judge Johnson.* The Memoirs 
of Tone, and the Commentary which succeeded it, appear- 
ing at a crisis of intense political excitement, and display- 
ing conclusions of singular novelty and daring, produced a 
powerful impression. The Duke of Wellington, then Pre- 
mier, assured Kogers that he had read the Memoirs of Tone, 
from cover to cover, with unflagging interest. But it ia 
doubtful if the Duke would ever have seen it had not the 
" Commentary" reached him from the British ambassador at 
Paris. An interesting letter from the late Robert Cassidy, 
Esq., narrates the fact, previously a secret, that the mate- 
rial only came from Judge Johnson, and that Mr Cassidy 
edited the MSS. The letter was written in reply to one 
from the present writer, mentioning that he had purchased, 
at the sale of Mr Conway's library, a volume of scarce 
pamphlets, containing the "Commentary" with Mr Cassidy** 
autograph, and offering it to his acceptance. 

without compromising his amanuensis, the jury were obliged to 
return a verdict of guilty." We have been assured, however, by 
Miss Johnson herself, that the MS. was really an autograph of het 
father's. She added, that the judge having taught her to write, 
their handwriting closely assimilated. 

* See BecoUections of Lord Cloncurry, p. 253 ; Moore's Journal, 
vol vi., p. 146; Daunt's Reoollections of O'Connell, vol. i., p. 18; 
Irwh Q,uwrtetly Bemew, vol. iL, p. 10 ; Irish Monthly Magazine, v, 
120, &c, 



" MoNASTEREVAN, July 3, 1 855. 

" The Commentary on the life of Wolfe Tone was pulK 
lished under very peculiar and rather strange circumstances. 
The papers forming it were detached, and not arranged. 
In a state just out of chaos, they were intrusted to me, to 
make such use of for the advance of this country as I might 
deem useful. 

" The dedication, written in Paris, puzzled the few French 
printers able to print English.* Didot, under guarantees 
supplied by my banker, (D. Daly,) published the book 
almost malgre lid. I had to attend more than one sum- 
mons at the Palais de {in-) Justice in 1828, to protect the 

" The paper caused some sensation. Every ambassador 
in Paris paid for the sheets as printed — some for ten copies, 
before bound. One hundred copies were sold in sheets. 

" I had to correct the press for French compositors, and 
brought over fifty copies. I have made a look through my 
books this day, and, to my surprise, find I have not a copy 
of the original exemplaire. 

" To repossess the copy most probably lent Conway, is 
desirable. I shall receive it from you, not as a restitution, 
but as a gift. — Yours faithfully, Egbert Cassidy. 

" To W. J. Fitzpatrick, Esq." 

Judge Johnson was a fluent correspondent, and some ol 
his letters on the capability of Ireland for effective warfare 
appear in the " Personal Recollections of Lord Cloncurry." 
His grandson. Eobert Alloway, Esq., now holds an interest- 
ing selection from the Judge's papers. It may scandalise 
Surviving politicians of the old Tory school to hear that 
>mong his chief correspondents were John WUson Croker 
and the King's brother, the Duke of Sussex. 

• " They could not, for the life of them, imagine why an English 
book, dedicated to all the blockheads in the service of his Britannic 
Majesty, should be printed in an alien apuntry."— SuftsejHeni com- 
municationfrom Mr Cassidy. 


(P. 134, ante.) 

The uncompromising attitude of hostility maintained by 
O'Connell towards the advocates of physical force, specially 
evidenced in his censure of the men of '98 at the Repeal 
Association on May 21, 1841, and which led to the resig- 
nation of some influential repealers in America, imparts 
additional interest to the fact, hitherto hardly known, 
that he himself had been a United Irishman. We are in- 
debted to the late Mr Peter Murray, of the Registry of 
Deeds Office, Dublin, a man of scrupulous veracity, for the 
following curious reminiscence of O'Connell in 1798 : — 
"My father, a respectable cheesemonger and grocer, re- 
siding at 3 South Great George Street, was exceedingly 
intimate with O'Connell, when a law student, and during 
his earlier career at the bar. Mr O'Connell, at the period 
of which I speak, lodged in Trinity Place adjacent, an 
almost unexplored nook, and to many of our citizens a 
terra incognita. I well remember O'ConneU, one night at 
my father's house during the spring of 1798, so carried 
away by the political excitement of the day, and by the 
ardour of his innate patriotism, calling for a prayer-book 
to swear in some zealous young men as United Irishmen 
at a meeting of the body in a neighbouring street. Coun- 
sellor was there, and offered to accompany O'Connell 

on his perilous mission. My father, although an Irishman 
of advanced liberal views and strong patriotism, was not 
a United ■ Irishman, and endeavoured, but without effect, 
to deter his young and gifted friend from the rash course 
in which he seemed embarked. Dublin was in an ex- 
tremely disturbed state, and the outburst of a bloody in- 
surrection seemed hourly imminent. My father resolved 
to exert to the Uttermost the influence which it was weL 
known he possessed over his young friend. He made hinv 
accompany him to the canal bridge at Leeson Street, and 
after an earnest conversation, Succeeded in persuading the 
future Liberator to step into a turf boat which was then 
leaving Dublin. That night my father's house was searched 
by Major Sirr, accompanied by the Attorneys' Corps of yeo- 


manry, who pillaged it to their hearts' content. There can 
be no doubt that private information of O'Connell's tenden- 
cies and haunts had been communicated to the Government." 
Mr O'Connell's intimacy with Mr Murray is confirmed 
by Mr John O'Connell's memoirs of his father, p. 14; and 
Sir Jonah Barrington, in the third volume of his " Personal 
Sketches," p. 396, gives a very animated description of the 
Backing of Murray's house by the Attorneys' Corps, or 
" Devil's Own." The " Personal EecoUections of O'Connell," 
written by Mr Daunt, and mainly devoted to a record of 
conversations with his great leader, describe O'Connell as 
in Dublin during the spring and summer of 1798, and, lest 
some officious persons might endeavour to implicate him 
in their disaffection, " quitting the city in a potato boat 
bound for Courtmasherry," (vol. i., p. 117.) But the cir- 
cumstances detailed by Mr Murray are not given. 


The Rev. John F. Shearman, late of Dunlavin, and now 
of Howth, has obligingly sent to us, since the publication of 
our previous edition, the following waifs and strays of the 
rebellion in Wicklow, gathered from aged witnesses of the 
events. Details of the more important events of the in- 
surrection in Wicklow can be found in Hay and Musgrave's 
Histories ; but the incidents gleaned by Mr Shearman which 
possess historic value do not exist in any accessible form. 
" The memory of these events," writes Mr Shearman, " is 
still green in Dunlavin, but few unless one in my position 
sould elicit much information on a subject always danger- 
ous to touch in that locality. I append other episodes, for 
the truth and correctness of which I can give every guar- 
antee :" — 

Some days before this cruel execution, which took place 
May 86, 1798, Captain Saunders, of Saunders's Grove, 


near Stratford-on-Slaney, reviewed his corps^ and then au- 
Donnced that he had private information of all those in it 
•who were United Irishmen. AH who were such were then 
ordered to step from the ranks. Many, in the belief that 
he had true information of their infidelity, came forward. 
One man, however, Pat Doyle by name, having got a hint 
from Captain Saunders's butler, who was a member 
of the corps, that his master had no reliable information, 
said, when his name was called, that he was no " United 
man," the remainder of them took the hint, and the gal- 
lant captain was thus foUed. The unfortunate men who 
so unintentionally betrayed themselves were pinioned and 
marched to the market-house of Dunlavin for confinement 
until their fate would be decided. Next day Captain 
WiUiam Eyves of the Kathsallagh yeomen, being on the 
look-out for insurgents on the hUl of Uske, his horse was 
killed by a ball aimed at its rider. Eyves got home safely ; 
rode to Dunlavin, and then it was determined to shoot the 
prisoners of Saunders's yeomen, and those of the Narragh- 
more corps, numbering in all thirty-six men. Next day, 
the 26th of May, being the market-day of Dunlavin, these 
unfortunates were marched from the market-house to the 
fair green, on the rising ground above the little town. In 
a hoRow or pit on the north side, near the gate of the Ko' 
man Catholic chapel on the Sparrowhouse Eoad, the vic- 
tims were ranged, while a platoon of the Ancient Britons 
stood on the higher ground on the south side of the green 
on the Boherbuoy Eoad. They fired with murderous 
effect on the thirty-six victims. All fell — dead and dying 
— amid the shrieks and groans of the bystanders, among 
whom were their widows and relatives. After this mur- 
derous task was completed, the military retired to the 
market-house for other acts scarcely less cruel and bloody. 
Flogging and hanging was the order, of the day, to stamp 
out disaffection and strike terror into the hearts of the 
country people. At the green, when all was hushed, 
while the life-blood was welling from the murdered victims, 
their friends and relatives powerless to soothe their pangs, 
and lurking in terror behind the neighbouring fences, 
the soldiers' wives came to rifle the mangled corpses of the 
slain. One poor fellow who was only wounded, when ha 


found his watch being taken from him, made a faint effort 
at resistance, but in vain ; the savage woman sent for her 
husband, who quickly settled the matter by firing a pistol 
into the ear of the wounded man. Another victim, Peter 
Prendergast, was also living, being wounded in such a 
manner as that his bowels were exposed. He feigned 
ieath, was also plundered, and thus escaped. Towards 
evening the bodies of those who were not already carried 
away by their friends were taken to the cemetery of Tour- 
nant and there buried in a large pit. Prendergast was 
still alive, and a woman replaced his bowels, bound him 
round with her shawl ; he was carried home, and lived to 
an advanced age. Some few persons stiU surviving have a 
vivid recollection of the cruel and savage scenes. An old 
man told the writer that he remembers his father taking 
him to the town on that day, when he saw men hanging 
in death's agonies between the pillars of the market-house. 
He remembers an event which it is well to record, as re- 
lieving the barbaric cruelty of the scene. One John Mar- 
tin, in a fight with a soldier, snatched his sword. He was 
seized and dragged to the market-house to his doom. The 
sword was taken from him and placed on a peg in the 
wall. A respectable Protestant friend interested himself 
for Martin, who eventually escaped injury ; and while his 
fate was a subject of altercation between the authorities, 
a soldier's wife took down the sword, and unperceived in 
the heat of the dispute cut the rope by which one Thomas 
Egan, a smith, was suspended, writhing in the agonies of 
suffocation. He fell unnoticed to the ground, revived, and 
escaped to Dublin. 

The following is a list of the slain, as far as ascertained : — 
John Keeravan, Daniel Keeravan, brothers, Uppertown, 
Dunlavin ; Laurence Doyle, Dunlavin ; Martin Gryffen, 

do., a3t. 21 ;* Duffy, Duffy, brothers, Ballin- 

glass; Matthew Farrell, Stratford-on-Slaney ; Michael 
Neil, Dunlavin ; Richard "Williams, Ballinacrow ; Andrew 
Eyan, Scruckawn; Keating, Keating, bro- 

* Martin Gryffen came from Dublin the evening before to see hia 
aged father. He was seized in the garden of hi.i house while saying 
his prayers, and executed, though not implicated at all in the move- 


Ihers ; and Edward Slattery, Karragbmore; Andrew 
Prendergast, Ballinacrow ; Peter Kearney, John Dwyer,* 
and John Kearney, Donard ; Peter Headon, Killabeg ; 
Thomas Brien, Ballinacrow Hill ; John Doyle, Scruckawn ; 

Morgan Doyle and John Doyle, Tuckmill ; Webb, 

Baltinglass ; John Wickam, Eadestown ; Costelloe ; 

Bermingham, Bermingham, brothers, Narragh- 

more corps; Patrick Moran, Tuckmill ; Peter Prendergast, 
Bumbohalljt Thomas Byrne, from near Dunlavin, was 
aanged at the market-house in Dunlavin at this time. 

May2i, 1798.— The Ancient Britons having shot twelve 
insurgents at BaHymore-Eustace, came to Dunlavin the 
next day by a detour through Lemmonstown, in the county 
Wicklow. A farmer in that townland named M'Donald 
had four sons, concerning whom secret information had 
been given by one Fox, a miUer from Hollywood. The 
military dashed into the house while M'Donald, his wife, 
and four sons, Kit, John, Harry, and Tom, were at dinner, 
The young men were dragged out of the house, and while 
preparations were being made to shoot them, one of the 
M'Donalds was compelled to put a burning turf into the 
thatch of the house, and while doing so his hand was shot 
off by one of the soldiers. In vain did the old man pro- 
claim the innocence of his sons, whUe he showed a written 
protection given them by Captain Kyves of Eathsallagh. 
The two eldest were ordered to kneel down, their aged 
parent falling on his knees beside them imploring mercy. 
They were murdered by his side, whUe their mother looked 
on, regardless of all danger from the raging fire behind 
her. The two younger M'Donalds escaped in the confu- 
sion, concealed by the smoke of their burning homestead. 
They were perceived, but escaped unhurt, amidst volleys 
of bullets from their pursuers, and found a safe retreat in 
the wild glens and recesses of Church Mountain. The 
murdered bodies of the young men were concealed, and on 
the following Sunday before daybreak their aged parents 

* John Dwyer of Donard was uncle to Michael Dwyer, the in- 
surgent of Imalle in 1803. 

t Peter Prendergast of ^umbo Hall was wounded, and escaped 
as above. 


carried them in sacks for a hasty burial in the old church- 
yard of Hollywood. 


In the summer of 1813, my informant went with hx 
Bervants to draw home turf from the bog of Narraghmore. 
While they were loading their carts, a respectable young 
man was seen to approach, attended by a servant, who led 
into the bog a dray and horse, in which was a co£Bn with 
some spades for digging. The young man seemed to look 
anxiously about him, and after some time began to open 
the surface of the bog. This very strange proceeding ex- 
cited the curiosity of the informant, who with his men 
came to the place where the stranger was excavating. His 
labours soon unravelled to some degree the mystery of the 
coffin. A corpse in perfect preservation lay exposed, but 
of a tallow-coloured hue, owing to the mode and place of 
burial. The corpse was placed in the coffin, and the young 
man, before returning homewards with it, told those pre- 
sent that it was the body of his father, who was shot in 
the "battle of the bog road" in the year 1798. He also 
told them that from time to time in his dreams he thought 
he saw his father come to his bedside, telling him to re- 
move his remains, intimating also where they lay. Urged 
by the vividness and frequency of these nocturnal warn- 
ings, he at last came to the resolution to remove the re- 
mains to be mingled with their kindred dust in some 
cemetery in the neighbourhood of Kilkenny. The young 
man's name was Brennanj his father was an extensive 
carrier, and at the time of the skirmish happened to be 
coming from Dublin to Kilkenny with seven drays laden 
with merchandise. He was met on the bog road at Nar- 
raghmore, was detained by the military, his drays and 
horses drawn up for a barrier, from behind which they fired 
on the insurgents. Poor Brennan fell by a random buUet, 
and his mangled body found a hastily-made grave, where 
it lay for fifteen years, until removed for Christian inter- 
ment, by the hands of a devoted child, from its lone and 
nameless grave in the bog of Narraghmore. 
In the August of '98, some yeomen passed through 


Donard and went to Kilbelet, to the house of Mr John 
Metcalf, known by the soubriquet of "the Bully." He 
was descended of a respectable Yorkshire family, a scion 
of which settled near Donard about a century before. Met- 
ealf, learning his danger, fled up the side of Church Moun- 
tain. He was pursued and murdered on the mearings of 
the townland of Woodenboley. His assassins were two 
brothers who had been previously in his employment, and 
owing to some disagreement about their work, they left 
him. Taking to illicit courses, they were soon after con- 
victed of sheep-stealing and condemned to the rope, but 
with the alternative of joining the army, which latter they 
ivaUed themselves of, to live, as it appears, for the com- 
mission of deeper crimes, for which they were allowed to 
go unpunished. 


At the battle of Old KUcuUen, Captain Erskine, while 
writhing in the agonies of death, by a sword-blow aimed 
at his assailant, cut right through the pike handle, while 
its blade pinioned him to the earth. " A long mound in 
the cemetery of New Abbey," adds Mr Shearman, " marks 
the spot where he and his men who fell in the conflict 
were buried." 


The same hand which conveyed the foregoing traditional 
details from the Eev. J. F. Shearman, also brought to us 
from a venerable old lady, Mrs Anstace O'Byrne, a 
packet containing some curious reminiscences of the rebel- 
lion. We insert this document the more readily, inasmuch 
as it refers to persons and places already named in the 
text : — 


What strange sights children sometimes get to see ! Some 
years more than half a century ago, the writer made one 


of a morry group of children ivno were frequently brought 
on summer evenings, by the middle-aged attendant who 
had them in charge, to walk and play in "The College 
Park." I do not know if the term is still used in common 
parlance in Dublin, but it then denoted all the greensward 
comprised within the boundary walls of Old Trinity, and 
appeared to be much greater in extent than now, and to 
hold trees of much larger girth than any to be found there 
at present. 

One well-remembered evening our play was interrupted; 
the little stragglers were collected with a great air of mys- 
tery ; powerful injunctions to silence were inculcated ; we 
were told " we must be very good and quiet, as we were 
going to see ' The 'Natomy House,' " so the good woman 
called it, and so we duly called it after her until better 
instructed. What "The 'Natomy House" meant, we 
neither knew nor cared ; it involved something hitherto 
unknown, and we cheerfully followed our guide. With 
stealthy steps, and sundry furtive glances around, which 
puzzled us amazingly, she led us to the door of a gloomy- 
looking house which, I suppose, it was not en regie that 
such visitors should enter. It was a square block of build- 
ing made, I think, of a decayed-looking, blackish stone. I 
imagine it must have been long since removed, for, on a 
late research, I vainly essayed to find either it or the site 
on which it stood. We were admitted to its interior by 
the guardian spirits of the place, a man and woman who 
had the care of, and, I believe, resided there. We soon 
entered that chamber of horrors, the Anatomical Museum 
of Trinity College, Dublin. The picture of it retained by 
my memory is that of a very lofty and very spacious 
apartment, the centre of which was cumbered and blocked 
up in some strange way which left only a margin of walk 
round the sides of the room; these sides had rows of 
Selves all round, filled with mysterious-looking glass 

My latest piece of reading just then had been a story by 
Madame de Genlis, in which one of Charlemagne's Pala- 
dins had gone on a tour of discovery to some mysterious 
chamber in search of a vase said to contain the senses of 
Ms friend Astolpho, who had gone demented ; and which. 


having secured, he was taking off, when to his amazement 
he perceived another vase as duly labelled, which purported 
to contain his own senses, which he did not know he had 
lost. I immediately took it for granted that this was th» 
kind of apartment visited by the renowned Boland, and 
enjoyed the roam through it very much. I merely record 
this little item to mark how easily the imagination of a 
child can be tinged by the mental aliment with which it 
is supplied. 

But the great sight of the evening which our conduc- 
tress had come to see was the skeleton of Jemmy O'Brien 
the informer dancing vidth that of an Irish giant ; yes, 
suspended by the necks, there dangled from the ceiling of 
that apartment two skeletons, one a third part, or more, 
longer than the other. The rope by which they were fast- 
ened descended from their necks in a gradual slope to 
within three or four feet of the floor of the room at oppo- 
site ends. By some mechanical contrivance, or perhaps a 
simple pulling of the rope by the man in charge, the flesh- 
less forms immediately commenced to sway about above us 
with an easy undulating kind of motion, as if dancing to 
slow music. I could not convey an idea of the solemn 
grace with which these evolutions were performed ; those 
of the Irish giant attracted most the attention of the juve- 
niles. In scriptural lessons they had learned that a giant 
named Goliath had been killed by a boy called David; 
and in the juvenile literature of the day giants figured 
largely, and if not the most amiable, were certainly the 
most striking characters of the current stories. Of Jemmy 
O'Brien they never heard before that eventful evening ; 
and even then nothing, except that " he was an informer," 
and "that was his sldliton danrin' up there." I would 
like much to leam the antecedents of that remnant of an 
Irish giant ; also if it is still above its parent earth, or has 
returned to the dust from whence it came. 

It was many years after this visit, when I was mention- 
ing to an aged relative my surprise that so steady a woman 
as the servant who brought us would lead children to a 
place so likely to produce a nervous shock, I was informed 
that her husband had been "done to death " by some of 
O'Brien's informations in one of the insurrectionary periods 


gone by. Hence, when sie was apprised through her 
acquaintance that the skeleton of her ancient enemy occa- 
sionally performed the evolutions here recorded, she was 
seized with a morbid desire to witness them, d,nd gladly 
availed herself of the afforded opportunity without con- 
sulting the friends i^f her young charge, on the fitness of 
the sight for them. With this ray of light on the subject, 
I could not avoid thinking how painful to the poor woman, 
who held such a hidden sorrow in her heart, must have 
been the glee of her young companions. 

I never chanced to meet with more than one person who 
had seen Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Pamela, and hers 
was but a passing glance from a street-corner during a 
period of excitement, when, like O'Connell on stirring 
occasions in later times, the patriot could not move 
through the streets without being gazed at and followed 
by admiring crowds. 

On this occasion. Lord Edward was seated in a very 
high phaeton, with the beautiful Pamela beside him. He 
held the k^ins, and was driving at a very dashing pace 
through College Green and Dame Street in the direction 
of the Castle ; and having only just brought her home as 
his bride from France, Pamela shared with him the plaudits 
of the people. With respect to the lady, I could only elicit 
from my informant that " she was beautiful," without any 
particular definition ; but Lord Edward was vividly de- 
scribed as a smart, Ught, dapper-lookiag man, with boyish 
features, which beamed with delight at the cheers of the 
multitude, and the admiration excited by the beauty of 
Pamela. With respect to the attire of either personage, 
nothing dwelt on memory, but that Lord Edward " wore 
a green silk or tabinet kerchief round his neck, tied with 
\fery large bows, and very conspicuous-looking." 

Oliver Bond was a very comely, portly-looMng man, 
noted for having very handsome legs, of which he was 
thought to be a trifle vain, and he always wore sUk stock- 
ings, which displayed them to the best advantage. But it 
would scarcely be fair to infer from the above souvenir 
that handsome legs and silk stockings were scarce about 


the period of 1798. Clonskeagh Castle, the first demesni 
residence beyond Clonskeagh Bridge to the right, nov» 
occupied by David Thompson, Esq., J. P., was, at the 
period of the rebellion, the residence of Mr Jackson, the 
father-in-law of Oliver Sond ; their tombs are side by side 
in the churchyard of St Michan's, Church Street, Dublin, 
— ^the inscription on Bond's being simply, "An honest 
man is the noblest work of God." Clonskeagh Castle was, 
during the reign of terror, searched by Major Sirr, and 
sacked by his myrmidons, who made so free with the fine 
wines in the cellar, that they were rushing inebriated 
through the streets of Dublin, and could not be quieted 
down for two or three days. 

I often saw "the Major," but never until he was far 
advanced in life, when it was usual for him to pass daily, 
about one o'clock or so, to his demesne residence at 
CuUenswood, from his apartments at the Castle of Dublin. 
He generally went through Dame Street, George Street, 
Aungier Street, <fec., instead of the more fashionable line of 
College Green, Grafton Street, (fee. As I did not see him 
walking, I could form no idea of his figure. In the car, 
he was always wrapped up in a large dark blue camlet or 
cloth cloak. His face was rather bony looking, his colour 
high ; he had a stem, but not repulsive countenance, and 
should be accounted the remnant of a handsome man. 
Without knowing who he was, I suspected that he was 
some remarkable person, and when I at last heard his 
name, which, strange as the fact may seem, I had often 
asked in vain, my informant told me also sundry of the 
on diU which were current regarding hitn — viz., that he 
never went out without steel armour under his clothes, 
and purposely wore the cloak to conceal his figure, lest 
shots might be aimed at him by some avenging hand, — 
that he could not sleep by night, — that the periods at 
which I saw him were when he was going to " lus country 
house to take a few hours' sleep ia the broad daylight," 
having accomplished which feat, he always returned to 
dine in Dublin, and there sought to wile away the night 
hours in the pleasures of society. 

The sundrv nods and shakes of head which accompanied 


these on dits sei-ved to convey the idea that this strange 
mode of life was the result of a troubled conscience. I 
had at hand no means by which to test these reports, and 
just give them as a sample of opinions which were afloat 
in Dublin forty years ago respecting "the Major" in the 
minds of some who have ceased to exist. 

A. man who witnessed the occurrence told me that, 
during the last year of Major Sirr's presidency at the 
head police-oflSce, some chance business led him to enter 
just as "the Major" was sentencing to temporary im- 
prisonment an aged weather-beaten forlorn-looking female, 
who was accused of having been troublesome over night, 
in consequence of a visit she paid to Sir John Barleycorn. 
On hearing the sentence, she gave a weird kind of shout, 
and commenced a long and loud recapitulation of sundry 
objectionable acts committed by " the Major " in the year 
1798. The recital, whilst permitted to last, had a power- 
ful effect on the old man, who placed his hands on his 
?ars, looked helplessly about for a moment, and then 
shouted to the police, " Take her away ! take her away ! 
?or H n's sake take her away ! " 

Some twelve years ago I visited the large camp field 
which forms portion of a farm then occupied by the late 

Mrs E B , of Loughaunstown, near Cabinteely, 

and now in the possession of her daughter. From the 
field I proceeded to the little ruined church of Tullagh or 
TuUy Beg, which overlooks it, and, after reading the 
inscription on a large, well-preserved, flat gravestone at 
the upper end, belonging to a family of the name of 
Walsh, heard the traditional particulars which foUow 
respecting a former tenant of that tomb. 

A young girl, a member of the Walsh family, who, 
though moving in the middle sphere of life, was,- most 
probably, from the burial-place selected, a descendant of 
the ancient branch of the "Walshes of Carrickmayne," 
(now Carrickmines,) died some years previous to the 
memorable era of 1798. When summoned to the tomb, 
she was in the bloom of youthful beauty, and had a 
reputation for such rare sanctity, that her friends con- 
sidered lif>p a saint, and departed from the precincts of 

A CAMP FfiOLIC IN '98. 319 

her grave, having the darkness of their sorrow for her loss 
brightened by the hope of her salvation. 

The course of some years again brought to the lonely 
ruined church a funeral train, bearing to that grave the 
chill form of another member of the Walsh family. The 
covering stone was removed, and the grave-digger plied his 
dreary task until his spade struck oe the Ud of the coffin 
of Miss Walsh. When the earth was cleared away, it was 
discovered that his sturdy strokes had shattered the roof of 
her frail resting-place. When the loose boards were re- 
moved a strange sight was revealed to the awe-stricken 
beholders. "Decay's effacing fingers" had not touched 
the features of the fair girl who had been so long a denizen 
of the tomb ; they still wore the look of calm unspotted 
beauty and innocence which had been their character in 
life, and the bystanders murmured in low tones, " She must 
be a saint." 

When the emotion of the grouped people had somewhat 
subsided, the boards were reverently replaced, the new 
claimant for the grave deposited, the clay, with perhaps a 
lighter touch than usual, flung over both coffins, the tomb- 
stone was replaced, and the funeral train departed, leaving 
to her quiet sleep 

" The loveliest corpse amongst the dead." 

The marvel reached the neighbouring hamlets, and the 
villagers would frequently visit and occasionally point out 
to strangers what they fondly called " The Saint's Grave." 

But that grave was doomed to be desecrated. The 
memorable year of 1798 brought a crowd of British troops, 
under orders from Lord Carhampton, to bivouac in the 
adjoining celebrated Camp Field, in which the army of 
King James II. had once encamped, and had remained 
for several days after the battle of the Boyne. 

The tradition of the unspoiled beauty of the fair sleeper 
in the tomb within the old church which overlooked their 
camping place, reached the ears of the soldiers, and awak- 
ened such an unreverent curiosity, that one night when the 
watch-fires were blazing high, and the maddening glass was 
circulating freely in the tents of the officers, a godless band 
of them Bushed forth, exclaiming that " they would bring 


the young beauty down from her cold tomb to grace theu 

It is the traditional belief of the neighbourhood that 
they kept their word, and dug up, and brought to the scene 
of their orgies, the form which death had spared. I was 
naturally anxious to learn the conclusion of this strange 
tale, but its narrator not being the " oldest inhabitant," I 
could only further glean from her that the form of Miss 
Walsh was never seen more.* 

I feel regret that I did not copy the inscription on the 
tombstone, as it most probably held the dates of the re- 
epective deaths of the members of the family, and thus tol \ 
how long the body of Miss Walsh had lain in the grave 
before the secret of its preservation was discovered. 

There was a respectable Protestant family in Dublin 
named Clements, consisting of several brothers, of whom 
two served as yeomen, and two joined the rebel ranks as 
United Irishmen. A suspected croppy, while undergoing 
severe flogging in Beresford's Riding School, in presence of 
a strong detachment of military and yeomanry, confessed 
that " two young men named Clements had been sworn in 
as rebels." The two brothers, who were present in the 
capacity of yeomanry, took no action in the matter ; but a 
jeweller, named Neville, who lived in Stafford Street, and 
who was also on the spot with his corps, left the riding 
school on some pretext, and gave warning to the young men 
who were implicated, just in time to save them from arrest. 
The Earl and Countess, of Moira, who resided on Usher's 
Island, had popular sympathies ; in the hurry of the 
dilemma Lady Moira was appealed to for protection : she 
opened her house to receive the young Clements, and they 
remained under her generous roof until the troubled season 
had passed over. This anecdote is given on the authority 
of Mr G n, a well-known and esteemed solicitor of 

* We have heard it traditionally stated that the soldiers converted 
Miss Walsh's corpse into a target for ball practice. The military, 
uicluding Captain Armstrong, who betrayed the Sheares, were en- 
camped here in 1798 ; and it was part of Armstrong's proposal to 
Shearea to gain over the soldiers, and betray the camp at Lough- 
aunstowii to the rebel forces. — W. J. P. 


Dublin, whose mother was the sister of the brothers 
Clements. Moira House, the scene of so much stirring 
incident in days gone oy, is now an institution for mendi- 
cants ; but it is reduced in height, the top stoi7 having 
been removed. 


We are indebted to the Rev. John O'Hanlon, the able 
biographer of Archbishops O'TooIe and O'Morghair, for 
the following traditional reminiscence of his grandfather's 
connexion with the rebellion in KUdare : — 

"In 1798, soon after the general rising, a comfortable 
grazier named Denis Downey, who held a considerable 
tract of land, on which stood the Gray Abbey ruins, near 
the town of KUdare, had been induced by a relative to take 
up arms and join the insurgent ranks. Having been en- 
gaged in some of the desultory affairs previous to the Curragh 
massacre, and his helpless wife, with two smaU children, 
having been daily exposed to insults, and the rapacity of 
the military force, during his absence from home, it was at 
length found necessary to abandon the farm-stead. His 
wife and her infant charge sought a temporary place of 
refuge ia Derryoughter, near the river Barrow. Here her 
aged father and mother resided. The insurgent husband 
found means for communicating to her his intentions of 
surrendering, with others, at the Gibbet Rath on the 3d of 
June. It is a fact, well remembered and handed down by 
tradition amongst the townspeople of Kildare, that on the 
very day before, several of Lord Roden's foxhunters, in a 
riotous and drunken brawl, appeared in the streets, carry- 
ing articles of apparel on the top of their fixed bayonets, 
and swearing most vehemently, ' We are the boys who will 
slaughter the croppies to-morrow at the Curragh ! ' This an- 
nouncement deterred many rebels from proceeding to the 
spot, and proved instrumental, no doubt, in saving their 
lives. Amongst the unnotified, however, Downey, in hopes 
of obtaining pardon, and mounted on a fine horse, ^y&at to 
the fatal trystin^ place. Having surrendered his arms, and 


an indiscriminate slaughter of the rebels having commencect, 
he at once got on horseback, and was endeavouring to 
escape, when he observed a near relative running away on 
foot. The horseman stopped for a moment, but when 
stooping for the purpose of mounting his friend behind, a 
bullet brought Downey to the ground, when his horse 
galloped wildly forward towards Derryonghter, where it 
had been previously stabled. Meantime, Mrs Downey, 
whose mind had been fiUed with alarm and anxiety to learn 
the state of her husband, remained up nearly the whole of 
that night, immediately preceding the 3d of June. To- 
wards morning, wearied and careworn, she had been in- 
duced to take a brief rest. The most strange event of all 
then occurred, as afterwards frequently certified by herself 
and those with whom she at that time resided. About the 
very hour when the massacre took place on the Gibbet 
Rath, she started from a troubled sleep, during which she 
had a frightful dream or vision of her husband weltering in 
his blood. Her instant screams drew all the famUy to her 
bedside. In vain did the aged father represent to her, that 
such a dream was only the result of her disordered fancies, 
and that better news might soon be expected. She wept 
bitterly and in utter despair of ever seeing her husband 
alive. The old man, taking his walking stick, turned down 
a retired road branching from his house towards the more 
public thoroughfare, leading from the Curragh. AlmouB 
the first object he encountered on the way was Downey's 
horse covered with foam and galloping furiously, without 
any rider, yet bridled and saddled. This unwonted sight 
furnished a sad presentiment of his son-in-law's fate. Soon 
again he observed numbers of country people running along 
the high road in a state of wild excitement. The old man 
asked some of them what news from the Curragh. ' Bad 
news ! bad news !' they exclaimed, ' our friends were all 
slaughtered on the Curragh to-day !' This heartrending in- 
telligence was afterwards conveyed to his unhappy daughter. 
With all the energy of despair, Mrs Downey insisted on 
having one of the common farm cars prepared. In this she 
proceeded to the scene of this diabolical massacre. She 
afterwards stated, that on the blood-stained plain, she 
turned over at least two hundn^d dead bodies before she 


recognised that of her husband. This latter she deposited 
in the car, covering the corpse with straw and a quilt. 
Thus placing it beside her, the forlorn widow escaped with- 
out molestation to the house of a relative of her husband, 
living near the old burial-place, named Dunmurry, near the 
Ked HiUs of Kildare. Preparations were made for the in- 
terment. That very night, however, a rumour went abroad, 
that the military were searching every house throughout 
the district. Wherever a rebel corpse was found, it was 
reported that the house containing it would be consigned 
to the flames. Hastily acting on such information, a grave 
was dug in an adjoining family burial-place of Dunmurry, 
whilst the body of Denis Downey was wrapped in a shroud 
and covered with sheets, for time would not allow of a 
coffin being made. In this manner the remains were con- 
signed to their last resting-place, and covered with earth. 
The poor woman soon returned to find her former comfort- 
able home a perfect wreck. For nights in succession, with 
a servant maid, she was obliged to rise from bed and allow 
the ruffian soldiery to despoil her of almost every remnant 
of property. Desponding and broken-hearted in her un- 
protected situation, and happily wishing a retirement from 
the scenes of former happiness, the farm was aiterwards 
sold to a purchaser, and the desolate widow, with her small 
infant charge, removed to the neighbouring town of Mon- 
asterevan. Earely could she be induced, in after years, to 
recur to this earlier period of her life, without tears moist- 
ening her eyes and stealing down her cheeks ; nor could 
she ever regard a soldier without feelings of deep aversion. 
The foregoing narrative furnishes a dark illustration of 
baneful events, connected with the Irish EebeUion of 1798. 
' It is no isolated episode,' adds Mr O'Hanlon ; ' for manj 
other family afflictions, equally deplorable and tragic in 
results, must have chequered the lot in life of thousands 
who became victims during this sad period of civil commo- 
tion and disorder.' " 



(P. 132, ante.) 

The appendix to the new edition of the first volume of 
" The Lives and Times of the United Irishmen" displays, 
under the head " Secret Service Money Revelations from 
Original Accounts and Receipts for Pensions," a curious 
selection from these documents, to each of which, with 
some few exceptions, Dr Madden supplies interesting 
details regarding the circumstances under which the pen- 
sion was earned. At page 395 appears a receipt from the 
late Rev. Thomas Barry, P.P. of Mallow, who enjoyed a 
secret stipend of £100 a year; and as no explanatory state- 
ment is volunteered, it perhaps becomes our duty to supply 
the omission, while furnishing at the same time a note to 
«ome preceding remarks of our own. 

The following letter, addressed to the Very Rev. Dr 
Russell, Roman Catholic Dean of Cloyne, by the Rev. T. 
Murphy, of Mallow, containing the result of some inquiries 
instituted at our suggestion among the oldest inhabitants 
of that town, will be read with interest : — 

"Mallow, October 2, 1865. 

"Vbey Rev. and Dear Sir, — After many inquiries 
about the subject matter of your kind letter of Sept. 9, I 
thought it well to await the return of an old inhabitant who 
was absent from Mallow tmtil yesterday. 

" The following is the substance of his account of the 
imeuie, which I believe to be the most authentic. Shortly 
after the insurrection of '98, the Royal Meath Militia wera 
stationed in Mallow. They had conspired with the dis- 
affected to blow up the Protestant Church, when tha 
yeomanry troops were at service on a certain Sunday. 
Abundant materials were at hand, as Mallow contained 
several parks of artillery at the time in a field near the 
Protestant Church, and hence called Cannon Field to this 

" On the Saturday preceding, two of the wives of the 
militia, who lodged at one Canty's, at Ballydaheen, were 


noticed by Canty's wife stitching or sewing the extremities 
of their petticoats together, and Mrs Canty (wife of Canty, 
a cooper) expressed her astonishment. The soldiers' wives 
were equally surprised, and asked her did she not hear of 
the ridng about to occur next day. An expression of 
more unbounded surprise was the response. The poor 
Meath women expected they could fiU more than their 
pockets. Canty (whose son stUl lives in BaUydaheen) 
communicated the news to his gossip, Lover, (a convert.) 
Lover went to confession on that Saturday, and Father 
Barry refused to absolve him except he disclosed the case 
extra tribunal. His wishes were complied with, and both 
Lover and Father Barry went forthwith to General 
Erskine, {sic i) who lived on Spa Walk. As soon as the 
plot was revealed, Sergeant Beatty with nineteen men on 
guard for that night, (all implicated,) aware of the treachery, 
immediately decamped. The yeomen pursued them in 
their flight to the Galtees, and when one of Beatt/s men 
could no longer continue the retreat, his wish of dying at 
the hands of Beatty was complied with. Beatty turned 
round and shot him ! The body of this poor feEow was 
brought back to Mallow next day, and lies interred near 
the Protestant church, and Sergeant Beatty himself (God 
be merciful to him !) was taken finally in Dublin, and 
hanged. Lover had four sons. They all emigrated after 
arriving at manhood. I am sorry to say one of them 
became a priest and died a short time since in Boston. 

"The father received a pension of £50 a year for hf^ 
and Father Barry was in receipt of ^6100 a year until 
1813,* when a dispute arose between him and the Protes- 
tant minister of Mallow, about the interment of some 
Protestant who became a convert on his death-bed. Father 
Barry insisted on reading the service in the Protestant 
churchyard, was reported to Government for not persever- 
ing in proofs of loyalty, deprived of his pension, and died, 
aiid is buried in our Catholic cemetery adjoining th' 

* The pension was finally re»tored to him, aa his receipts prove. 
In the Secret Service Money Book, now held by Charles Haliday, 
Esq., and from which Dr Madden has quoted the salient points, we 
find Father Barry's name frequently figuring as a recipient of 
various gratuities exclusive of liia pension. — W. J. F. 

326 APPJCJSDix. 

churck The only prayer I ever heard offered for him 
was, ' God forgive him ! ' Yours very sincerely, 

"T. Mfephy. 
" To the Very Bev. Dean Kussell." 

Dean Kussell, in enclosing his correspondent's letter to 
us for publication, corrects an error into which the Rev. 
Mr Murphy fell, in stating that Lover received £50 a year 
in recognition of his timely information. A previous 
letter from the Dean observes : — 

" Protestant gratitude, unfortunately for Mr Barry's 
character, obtainod for him £100 a year, but poor Lover 
never received a farthing. Having been reduced to great 
poverty, a petititn was sent to Government, signed by 
twenty-five gentltanen, stating his services. The answer 
was, they knew aothing of him ; but the rebellion was 
then smothered in the blood of the people." 

The Dean adds, that this and other information recently 
reached him from clergymen who were born in Mallow or 
its vicinity. 

It would be difficult to find a pastor who presented a 
more venerable arid paternal aspect than the late Father 
Thomas Barry of Mallow. His flowing white hair and 
thorough benevolence of expression impressed most favour- 
ably all who car:ae in contact with him, and commanded 
their entire co2ifidence. The late eminent and lamented 
Daniel O'ConneU, on being shown one of Father Bany^s 
receipts for " blood money," as it was then somewhat eri"o- 
neously presumed to have been, started, andj to quote the 
words of our informant, who still holds his receipts, 
" became as white as a sheet ! " For thirty years 0'Connel\ 
had been on terms of close intimacy with Father Barry, 
and reposed unbounded confidence in his counsel. In the 
Dublin Evening I'ost of the day an obituary notice appears 
of Father Barry, who died January 18, 1828. The sin- 
gular fact is mentioned, that the priest's pall was borne by 
six Protestants. Having directed the attention of Dean 
Pbussell to this article, he writes : " The statement that 
Mr Barry's coffin was borne to the grave by six Protestants, 
can hardly be correct, as nothing was known of the pension 
he received till some time after his death. He was buried 


in the same respectful way in which Catholic clergymen 
are usually buried." Shortly after the date of this letter, 
ijoor Dean BusseU was himself consigned to the grave. 


In the first edition of the Sham Squire it was stated, at 
page 302, that " Mr. Luke CuUen, a Monk of the Monas- 
tery of Mount Saint Joseph's, Clondalkin, died suddenly, 
in January, 1858, leaving behind him an immense collec- 
tion of MSS. illustrative of the histories of '98 and 1803." 
From these voluminous papers, which have since been 
obligingly placed at our disposal by the Prior, we select, as 
relevant to the present work, Mr. CuUen's quaint account of 
" Croppy Biddy," the female informer. 

There are different grades of the Informer, as in the case 
of other professions. There is the sweR Informer, like 
Eeynolds, whose fees are thousands, and who measures his 
value by the coflSns of his victims ; there is the starched 
Informer, in wig and gown, who stags sub rosa for pay, yet 
holds his rank as a gentleroiin, and passes for a man of spot- 
less honour ; then there is the industrious, hard-working In- 
former, like Jemmy O'Brien, who makes no disguise of his 
craft, and is ever ready to grasp " the Evangelists" in his 
horny hand, and press them to his often perjured Ups, in the 
discharge of the business by which he earns his daUy bread. 
Some illustrations of the latter class have been traced out 
in very ample detail by the monk to whom we have referred. 
After pursuing, with a searching pen, the hidden lives of 
Ealpin, Morgan, and other spies of minor mark, the old 
Carmelite introduces us to 

"the life and peejtjeies of croppy biddt. 

" This woman, who acquired much notoriety during the 
insurrection of 1798, and for some time after that period, 
was born in Carnew, in the County Wicklow, about the 
year 1779, and was in her nineteenth year when the rebel- 
lion broke out. Her father followed the humble profession 
of a thatcher, and was generally from home. Her mother 


paid no attention whatever to the education or morak of 
her dauglif^er. Let me at once apologize for being obliged 
to allude to immorality. But in Mstory we can leave 
nothing to the imagination — truth, however repugnant, 
must be honestly told. And in this case, that posterity 
may know even the vilest of the many instruments that 
were used to aid the blightful Legislative Union of our 

" At ten or eleven years of age this wayward and aban- 
doned girl was sure to be found among rude little boys at 
their sports, particularly riding the asses of tinkers, when 
any of them would sojourn in the outlets of Carnew ; or 
at a neighbouring forge, where horses were usually brought 
to be shod ; and if she could get up on one of them, or 
procure any person to lift her up, she was sure to sit astride 
and gaUop the animal up and down the street. She had 
an extraordinary passion for horse-riding, and at sixteen 
years of age she could manage the quadruped at his full 
speed. Aid in the year 1798 she mostly rode with the 
rebel cavalry — a buxom vivandiere on horseback. Her lack 
of morals and indecencies are too disgusting to follow, but 
it win be sufficient to say, that this pampered informer of 
the County Wicklow, at thirteen years of age, was an 
avowed and proclaimed harlot, steeped in every crime 
that her age would admit of ; and her precocity to vice, as 
it was to maturity, was singular. On her own oath, she 
attendeaSnight meetings at seventeen years of age, where 
a great number of United Irishmen assembled, about two 
miles from the residence of her father. After the rebellion 
broke out, she joined the rebel army, and soon obtained a 
horse, and was foremost in aU the deeds of iniquity during 
the time the people held out in arms. But her intoxica- 
tions and public debaucheries, were then by far the worst 
of this virago's shameless life. After the remnant of the 
popular army, which had reached the Wicklow mountains, 
were dispersed, she continued for some time with Holt. 
On her return home from the battle-field, she continued to 
speak at random of everything she saw or heard, and the 
more wicked the deed the more delight she took in th( 
recital, and with a brutal pleasure exaggerating the atro- 
city. In a, short time she was picked up by the ultra- 


loyalists, -who liked to have her drinking in the public- 
houses with them, getting her to tell of the deeds she saw 
in civil war. It was only in the latter end of August she 
left the outlaw camp ; and on the 16th of September she 
became the ward of Captain Wainright, the agent of Lord 
FitzwiUiam, the other magistrates of the county concurring 
in the project to have her for a general informer. She was 
then sent to Rathdrum, to be put under the training of a 
little vindictive and crafty attorney, named Tom King, and 
some old bailiffs. 

" She was now dressed like a lady, with habit and skirt, 
hat and feather, and a prancing palfrey was placed at her 
disposal. In her excursions through the country, where she 
was often engaged in search of denounced men, or out- 
lawed rebels, she presided at the head of a military party, 
which, it may be said, she actually commanded, for if they 
would not do as she wished, she swore that she would 
return to the garrison and not guide them any further. 
On one day she rode with a strong party to Ballymaurin, 
about three miles from Eathdrum, where two brothers, 
Byrne, were digging their own potatoes. Those men had 
been out fighting, but had returned home, like great num- 
bers of others, and availed themselves of the Amnesty Act. 
She had some disKketothem; she pointed them out to her 
guards, and they were shot without more ado. Historic 
writers should be cautious in taking details from ihe papers 
of those days. The poor f eUows that were shot, were called 
the ' Blacks,' by nickname. After some excursions of a 
similar kind, and some swearing of what was called a light 
nature, such as iiaving men transported, or imprisoned for 
ft considerable time, she was thought duly qualified to 
come forward to prosecute to the death. Now, gentle 
reader, you will be kind enough to excuse me for even allud- 
ing to the immorality of this abandoned person, who was 
brought up without the slightest particle of education, or 
more regard to morals than the brute that browsed in the 
field ; and in regard to her knowledge of Christian truths, 
she was an infidel. But she could ride off, and spend her 
nights and days on the crowded field and camp of disor- 
derly insurrection. Slie who, in a public court, could swear 
that she took delight in going to see an ill-fated man sent 


to eternity by thut terrible death of pUdng. And now, sc 
far as dress and money went, she was raised to the condi' 
tion of a person in affluence. Mark the general contrast; 
she mounted a prancing charger, attired in a lady's riding- 
dress, vieing with, and- even outdoing, the vilest soldier, in 
unheard-of blasphemous language. Every sentence that 
she spoke was sacrilegiously sealed with some person of the 
Blessed Trinity. To see her as she rode off at the head of 
a troop of dragoons or local cavalry (for she was indulged 
in her romantic notions), from the Flannel-haU of Eath- 
drum, Ik the above attire, with a cigar held firm between 
her teeth, and the curling wreaths of the smoke of that 
plant ascending from her mouth, and fanned around her 
face by the bending plume of ostrich feathers that fell 
over the front of her costly beaver ! 

" Now, good reader, you shall have a specimen of her 
veracity, and how far she could be depended on even on 
her oath. Mr. Wainright and the other magistrates and 
gentry of the county, had as ample knowledge of her depra- 
vity as they had of the light of the meridian sun. 

" She was now requested to come forward at the prosecu- 
tion of some men whose lives were at stake. She accepted 
the invitation, and would have gone without one. Her 
trainers expected that she woidd make a good display, be- 
fore her appearance as a leader on the stage of that terrible 
drama that she was now rehearsing for. The murder of 
one Inman was laid to the charge of those men, and 
Biddy promised to swear it against them. To this she 
was encouraged by some persons who had an old and im- 
placable Ul-wiE against them. She was at this time going 
on swearing in every case, and to every thing that she 
thought would please the Orange party, who supplied her 
with money and whiskey. It was a great temptation to 
her, who was reared in poverty and wretchedness, now to 
have fine clothes, and plenty of money, and soldiers at her 
command, with a thousand promises of their continuance. 

" The trial of the men for the pretended murder of Wm. 
Inman came on. The deceased had a brother who was of 
a very independent turn of mind. He would not join a 
yeomanry corps because he knew they were raised as aux- 
Iliariea to suppress the voice of freedom, and to keep the 


Catholics in their political and religious state of degrada- 
tion. He had a very strong affection for his brother from 
youth. And strange, he was not made acquainted with 
the approaching trial, or that there was an intention to 
prosecute any one for his brother until the day previous to 
the trial; nor was he then summoned or required to attend 
the trial — the time as well as the decisions of those courts, 
were arbitrary. It was merely by accident that he then 
became aware of this cushioned trial, and of the persons 
who were prompting the prosecutor, and providing evidence 
to sustain it. Knowing weU that it was through private 
malice, of an old date, that the prosecution was urged on ; 
and knowing also that his brother fell in battle — ^informa- 
tion derived ftom those who were with him when he fell — 
' No,' he exclaimed, ' I know of my brother's death, from 
the men that were in battle-line with him when he died, 
fighting manfully at BaUyellis, on the 30th June.* He was 
not murdered, and I wiU go forward to prove it ; and that 
wanton, reckless, and willingly-perjured strumpet shall not 
swear away the men's lives !' He was fully sensible that 
her audacious perjuries would be hailed as gospel truths — 
' No,' he said, ' I wiU go and free them.' He was a man 
of sterling soul, honest and resolved. He started next 
morning for Eathdrum, a distance of near twenty miles. 
When he arrived there he forced himseU into the court — 
the trial was going on — he announced himself as the brother 
of Wm. Inman, and that he had something particular to com- 
municate with regard to his brother. He was soon admitted 
to the witness-table; Croppy Biddy, that female hyena, was 
now on it, giving her evidence, and describing with minute 
exactness the circumstances attending the murder of Wm. 
Inman, so that all who heard her thought that she was 
looking attentively on. It might be said in any court in 
the world, save Ireland, that she had now ascended the 
zenith of her perjuries. But this was only a preparation 
for another act in the long and bloody drama of Ireland. 
When her testimony was given, Inman appealed to th« 
President of the Court-martial to allow him to disclose 

* Sir Bichard Mnsgrave's History of the BebelUon, at the 9th part 
of his nineteenth appendix, page 112. 


what he knew with regard to the death of ^s brother. 
The request was immediately granted, and even hailed, 
expecting that it would make the conviction doubly sure. 
' Sir,' he said, addressing the President, ' with your per- 
mission I would, in the first place, ask that woman — 
(meaning the last witness) — a few questions.' — ' By all 
means,' said the President. He turned to her and said — =" 
' You saw my brother, Wm. Inman, murdered by the pri- 
soners 1 ' ' Certainly,' was the quick and pert reply. 
' What kind of dress had my brother on at the time ?' 
'He had Ms regimentals,' was the answer. 'What had 
he on his head 1 ' ' His helmet — what else would he have 
on ? — I never saw him without it.' After a few more ques- 
tions, he turned to the Court, and, addressmg it said — 
' There is not one word of truth in what that woman has 
sworn, on my oath. On the morning of the day on which 
my brother fell, I rode with him for some distance as he 
was going to join his corps, before going to battle. He 
complained of a violent headache, to which he was subject, 
and the weight of the helmet increased it. I gave him my 
hat and took his helmet. He feU that day in fair and 
open fight, and at that instant had my hat on. His com- 
rades who were in battle-hue then with him, who saw him 
fall, and then raised him up, assured me of the fact, and, 
had we received any notice of this trial, they would be 
here with me; but they are on the road, and will be soon 
here. I am also weU informed that the prisoners were not 
TOthin some three or four mUes of my brother when he fell, 
and this can be proved by as good loyalists as any under his 
Majesty.' The Court and people were astonished at this 
tinusual evidence. The prisoners were acquitted, not amid 
acclamations, for no one dare presume to show the sUghtest 
symptoms of exultation in the triumph of justice in those 
intolerant times. The Wicklow Terrorists were crest-fallen 
at the breaJdng down of their favourite witness. It was 
necessary to protect the character of this woman for another 
feat that was now only in embryo ; she was silenliy 
rebuked for her failure, and levity, and pertness ; that is, 
there was less attention paid to her by the squireen J. P.'s 
and others of that tyrant-ridden county ; yet die was looked 
upon in those days of swearing as a person of promise. 


She -was young, and under judicious teachers had time 
enough to learn. Her unblushing audacity was firm and 
boundless. Drunk or sober, her pert and ready replies 
to all questions helped to restore her to that portion of 
favour which only seemed to be lost to her. 

" All this time she was under the apparent tuition of a 
bailiff named Tom Philips, from whom I had this incident 
and much more of her history, but Tom King, the attor- 
ney, gave her the principal lessons. Philips was too much 
of the man, in its physical sense — no man possessed a 
greater share of personal courage — and such individuals 
rarely stoop to meanness. It was more on account of Ms 
courage than for his instruction that she was placed under 
Ms protection ; the little attorney at Kingston was, I may 
say, her sole preceptor. Her public intoxications and 
debaucheries, her smoking and swearings with the soldiers 
and others, had now their fuU. swing, and of this scandal- 
ous conduct, in his pampered and suborned informer, Tom 
King was perfectly, cognizant, and fuUy sensible, from her 
late failure, that no credit could be attached to her infor- 
mations, yet he kept her on. 

" The Orange gentry of Wicklow were now making 
private arrangements for one of the most murderous legal 
deaths that ever disgraced human nature. 

" The O'Byrnes of that lovely county, since the first land- 
ing of the Saxon, had been objects of hate and spoliation. 
There was one young branch of that fine stock whidi the 
upstart squireens of that county feared and hated. They 
had now the semblance of legality in their courts-martial 
to screen their vile deeds. Those courts were composed of 
beardless and ignorant youths* and fanatic Orangemen ; 
and therefore William Byrne, Esq., of BaUymanus, a mem- 
ber of the most ancient and respectable family of ths 
county, was to be brought before them, to be consigned to 
an ignominious death. But the breaking down of this 
wretched witness was a stumbling block to his persecu- 
tors. As the trial came on, King hit on a happy ex- 
pedient for her protection ; that was, to have it sworn, if 

* No competitive examination being then necessary, illiterate cox- 
combs abonnded in tbe army. 


the objection should be urged, that the men accused of 
the murder of Wm. Inman were acquitted in -virtue 
of the Amnesty Act, the provisions of which they came 
under, and not in consequence of Bid Dolan's false swear- 
ing. This was a subterfuge such as a low irttorney would 
suggest, but to willingly swear to it was the essence of 
depravity. Notwithstanding her life of public infamy, hep 
public conviction of perjury, when she knew all the parties, 
and when she was, I might say, a volunteer witness, the 
magistracy of Wicklow, to their shame, had the unblush- 
ing effrontery to bring her, a suborned perjurer, as a wit- 
ness against the Ufe of William Byrne. It was a frequent 
boast of theirs that they would keep the court clear ; that 
is, they would take steps to prevent Mr. Byrne's evidence 
from coming forward. 

" On the 24th of June, 1799, that young gentleman was 
brought up before 18 or 20 witnesses, aU of whom were 
insatiable for blood or money, and -^ho swore at random, 
and not unfrequently contradicte(^ each other. 

" But Croppy Biddy was thef jon on whom the prosecu- 
tors rested their hopes. The gig^ng and loud laugh, the 
levity and whole demeanour of that libidinous wretch, was 
themost disgustingdisplay that, perhaps, any witness was ever 
before allowed to indulge in, where the Uf e of a high and hon- 
ourable gentleman was concerned. Her first plunge on the 
green cloth this day was perjury, and all her assertions, that 
were of any moment, to the end of the trial, were of the same 
dreadful description. In her evidence she swore that it was 
on Friday that Mr. Byrne joined the insurgent camp on 
Gorey Hill. This was false ; it was on Saturday. She 
swore that Mr. Byrne had the command of the party that 
put one Langrel to death in Gorey church-yard. Tlus was 
also false. She added that she went with interest to see 
Langrel piked ; this was correct, but it was a home proof 
of the hardened depravity of the witness. Mr. Byrne had 
gone, some time before the death of Langrel, on a visit to 
a Mr. Webster's, some distance from Gorey, and was not in 
any way connected with the death of that man. My 
informant, who was a rebel captain in Ballymanus division, 
says — ' I was accidentally by ; I did not know one of the 
men that were sent to execute bita ; but none of them 


belonged to the Ballymanus di-vision, for being one of the 
captains, I should have known them.' Mr. Byrne (Garret) 
of Ballymanus was in Dublin from the time that his man- 
sion was sacked, on the 8th of May, 1798, by the Tinehely 
yeomen,, until the day or two before the Battle of Vinegar 
Hill, when he succeeded in getting out of town, but was 
too late to be at any of the following encampments : — 
Mount Pleasant, Kilcavin, Comgrua, or Vinegar Hill, and 
yet she swore that Mr. Garret Byrne was at each of them ; 
and that William Byrne and Captain Esmond Kyan had 
some dispute, and that Mr. Bjrrne said he would exchange 
a shot with him. This was random swearing ; but that 
part of the oath that says Captain Esmond Kyan was then 
on Vine<5ar Hill was a wiUing perjury, for that gentleman 
was !«. i,ne same instant of time in the town of Wexford, 
eleven miles distant. And Lieutenant Hogg, of the Antrim 
Militia, who was then a prisoner with the popular army in 
Wexford, swore, on the trial of Mr. Bjrae, that he saw 
Esmond Kyan in the jail of Wexford, at five o'clock on the 
morning alluded to. The battle had then commenced. 

" She on being asked, in Mr. Wm. Manning's shop, in 
Kathdrum, by a young lad who was serving his apprentice- 
ship there, if she was not to go Mr. Byrne's trial? 'Yes,' she 
said, ' for they told me that I should not get my liberty if 
I would not go and swear against him,' She was instantly 
cautioned by her guardian, Philips, my informant ; but in 
two days after she swore, in open court, that she never 
uttered the sentence. 

" She was in Wicklow at the time of Mr. Byrne's execu- 
tion, and went out to see it with a swarm of soldiers and the 
Orangemen of the town ; her conduct here was of the most 
revolting description. After this I am not aware that she 
was called on to swear any more. Mr. Byrne was in his 
silent tomb, and there was no more wanting to the squireen 
magistrates of that county. How she had been remime- 
rated for her perjuries I cannot tell, but I find the follow- 
ing items in the Secret Service Money published by Dr. 

" ' 18th March, Mr. Archer, High Sheriff of the County 
Wicklow, £100. 

" ' Ditto, 27th April, 1801, £70. 


" ' letli Sept., 1801, Tom King, of KatMram, attorney, 
by order of Lord CornwaUis (the Lord Lieutenant), £300. 
And to Bridget Dolan, per Captain Wainright, £22 16s.' 

" This latter seems to be her fixed yearly salary, for it did 
not appear by her manner of living that she had much 
more, and this was little enough to support her and a pair 
of bull-dogs that she kept for her protection. And, notwith- 
standing that she was always attended by those grim and 
faithful guardians whenever she walked out, the boys, if they 
could with any degree of apparent security, would relin- 
quish their sports to have a fling of a stone at her, with the 
shout, ' Ha, Croppy Biddy !' For this they were often 
brought before the magistrates ; and, so powerful a monitor 
is conscience on the recollection of guilt, that sooner than 
stir up the past, the rude lads were generally let off with 
a magisterial admonition. 

" She happened to have one child that Kved — it was a 
daughter ; but she never had the honour of a husband's 
protection. As soon as her swearing was over, and in 
which she seemed to have taken a particular delight, and 
after being restored to the Orange protection of her friends 
in Carnew, to live on the wages of perjury and prostitu- 
tion, and the price of innocent blood, her manner became 
utterly changed ; the florid cheek became quite pale, her 
natural and impudent levity had flown, and that insensi- 
bility to virtue seemed to be now under the severe gnawingof 
a corroding conscience. She was sour, reserved, and morose; 
when going out, and at every step she seemed to apprehend 
an assault. She lived for many years with the finger of scorn 
publicly pointed at her wherever she moved. It was sur- 
mised by her neighbours that the Government had with- 
drawn the salary from her, and that she was left in her 
declining days to be supported from the poor-box in the 
Protestant Church, or some scanty support from her Orange 




Readers of MacScimmin's " History of Carrickfergus" * 
wiU remember the name of James Dickey, a rebel general, 
who held a chief share in the command of the United 
Irishmen of Ulster. Here it was, in the ranks of the Dis- 
senters, that this formidable organization originally took 
root, and Dickey, as well as the great bulk of the men 
whom he led, belonged to the Presbyterian Church. 

From one of the representatives of this remarkable per- 
son, Mr. Adam Dickey, of CuUybackey, County Antrim, we 
have received some not uninteresting communications sinc^ 
the publication of the " Sham Squire." In June last he 
called upon us and told a tale which opens another glimpse 
of the Romance of Irish RebeUion.f After the discomfiture 
of the insurgent forces of Ulster, and while £400 lay 
on General Dickey's head, he continued for a considerable 
time to elude disQpvery by assuming different disguises and 

• MaoScinmmi wrote with ease, but spoke with difiSoulty. The 
late distinguished Celtic eoholar, John O'Donovan, M.B.I.A., in. 
formed ns that on his fii'st arrival at Camokf ergus, he stopped one of 
the first men he met, and inquired for its historian, MaoScimmin. 
" You're t-t-t-t-t-t-t-taiking to him," replied the man after a stutter- 
ing prolongation of the phrase we have but feebly sketched. " Tm 
on the p-p-p-p.petty ju-u-u-ry, but if you'll wait an hour or two, 
rU then c-o-c-come and t-t-t-telk to you." 

t Referring to the previous glimpses of the Romance of Irish 
History obtained in the earlier editions of the " Sham Squire," 
Michael Banim, Esq., the survivor of the " O'Hara Family," 
and author of, perhaps, the most powerful of Irish fictions, " Cro- 
hoore of the Bill-Hook," thus writes in an unpublished letter :— 
" The ' Sham Squire' has startled me. It is a revelation of the time! 
it refers to for which I was not previously prepared, which imagina. 
tion dare not invent, and which, if found in a work of fiction, would 
be discredited and, perhaps, cried down as an overstrain on proba> 
bility. When I have read it fully through, and pondered over it, I 
will write my matured impression of the book— of its importance ar 
a delineation of habits and manners, and of its still higher import- 
ance in an historical point of view." This he has done, vide p. 878.^ 


resorting to ingenious stratagems. He was built up in a 
turf clamp, almost dead from starvation and debility, when 
one day, to Ms deUglit, be recognized, passing in close 
proximity, an old acquaintance, named DiUon, who was 
like himself, in the profession of the law. The General 
made himself known to DUlon, who expressed the utmost 
commisseration for the melancholy plight in which he 
found his friend, and forced upon him some silver to pur- 
chase necessaries. In the course of half an hour a detach- 
ment of the King's troops appeared, surrounded the turf 
clamp, and dislodged Dickey from his concealment. He 
was immediately tried at the drum-head and hung ; and 
five hundred pounds, the price of his blood, was promptly 
claimed by a hidden Hand. 

Mr. Adam Dickey, inferring, from a perusal of the 
" Sham Squire," that we had access to some documents 
and receipts illustrative of the disbursement of Secret Ser- 
vice Money, called upon us, as already mentioned, and 
inquired whether we had seen any entry of the reward paid 
for the discovery of General Dickey in August, 1798, and 
if so, who was its recipient 1 Unfortunately, however, the 
receipts for Secret Service Money, and the other documents 
therewith connected are, owing to .the circumstance 
jdescribed at p. 263 ante, scattered and incomplete ; and 
although a payment of £100 is recorded on March 2, 1804, 
in the handwriting of Mr. Cooke, to a person whose name 
seems illegibly written " Dilton," and may be intended for 
Dillon, yet it does not conclusively appear that he is iden- 
tical with the reputed betrayer of General Dickey.* 

Mr. Adam Dickey, in his conversation with us, 
remarked that it has always been the belief in his 
family that Mr. Dillon was the informer. But he was 
himself, he added, unaware of this impression when, 

* Part of a oorreapondenoe with a spy who signs himself " John 
Dillon," is preserved among Major Sirr's MSS. in Trinity College, 
i^uhlin. It is dated " Gormanstown, March 31, 1803," where the 
spy was sent, prohahly with a view, among other things, of " setting" 
the yonthfnl Lord Gormanaton, a leading member of the suspected 
Faith. Particulars are given of the progress of disaffection north- 
•wards, the result of the writer's espionage. The Dublin Directory 
tor 1798, in its list of attorneys, includes the name of " John Dillon," 
t>. 131. 


ill the year 1827, he obtained an interview with 
Dillon, in reference to an advertisement which appeared 
from him offering money to lend on unexceptionable 
security. James Dickey's property had passed under the 
axe of attainder, and some of his descendants, owing to 
costly litigation, were obliged to borrow. Adam Dickey 
found the attorney, DUlon, in his study — an old bent man, 
who, the mement he learned his name, gazed upon him 
with melancholy interest. He promised to do what he 
could in furtherance of his visiter's object. The latter 
having caUed again in a few weeks to complete the mort- 
gage, he found that costs out of pocket, to the extent of 
£40, had been incurred — chiefly the result of searches 
made in the Eegistry of Deeds Office. " I forgive those 
costs," said Dillon, again bestowing a look sadly expressive 
of interest upon Adam Dickey, " I have known members 
of your family well, and it affords me singular pleasure to 
have an opportunity of doing you a substantial service." 
The old man spoke cautiously — he did not use the word 
"restitution." He, however, seemed visibly affected, 
especially when expressions of gratitude fell from Adam 
Dickey's lips ; he cast a lingering look after his youthful 
client • Dickey was requested to call again, and having 
done so, he learned, to his dismay, that Mr. Dillon, soon 
after the interview in question, had been found in the 
midst of an enormous pool of blood — the result of suicide 
committed in his own study ! 

Adam Dickey apprised his father of the catastrophe, who 
simply said — " It would have been well for James Dickey 
if DUlon had put a period to his existence nine-and-twenty 
years sooner." This was the first intimation Adam Dickey 
had received of the family suspicion, that Dillon had 
betrayed his friend, and the idea, coupled with the circum- 
stances which had recently come within his own knowledge, 
moved him deeply ; and the retrospect to this day, evokes 
conflicting emotions. 

Mr. Adam Dickey, in the course of his correspondence 
and interviews with us, frequently asserts that the History 
of the BebeUion in Ulster has never been written. Even 
the northern newspapers of the day furnish no information, 
inasmuch as aU reports of the progress of the insurrection, 


Were suppressed by order of Lord Castlereagh and his col- 
leagues. The office of the only independent journal, " Tht 
Northern Star" was twice wrecked by a military force ; 
and during the year of the Rebellion, the paper did no'j 

" Dickson's narrative" he considers wholly unreliable. 
It was written after the Eebellion, with a view to improve 
the writer's perilous position with the Government. Mac- 
Scimmin, who published some notices of the northern 
revolt in his " History of Carrickfergus," was himself an 
Orangeman, and his peculiar bias warped the facts he 
undertook to handle. Mr. Dickey knew him well, possessed 
much of his confidence, and he says that the Historian was 
constantly in fear of being murdered ! MacScimmin con- 
fessed that, owing to his peculiar position and oath, he 
coiild not afford to tell the truth frankly. 

Those Northerns who were implicated in the conspiracy 
of '98, included a large share of the higher ranks of society. 
Mr. Dickey says that he possesses a complete list of all the 
gentry who were United Irishmen, which displays among 
other influential names, that of Alexander Stewart, a first 
cousin of Lord Castlereagh's. The organization of the 
country had been very indefatigably carried on to a certain 
point. Mr. Dickey's father, on visiting his stables in the 
morning, was often surprised to find his horses appear 
jaded and unrefreshed. The secret at last leaked out, that 
Eussell and TeeUng regularly used them during the night, 
in organizing the country and rapidly inspecting the pro- 
gress of and preparations for their projected enterprise. 
EusseU, strange to say, was a magistrate, and, what is not 
strange, a very popular one. If the people had any cause 
of complaint to make against persons who had done them 
injury, the invariable threat was " I'll RusseU him."* He 
was the uncle of Mr. Hamilton, of the Irish Bar, a col- 
league in Emmet's movement. 

Referring to MacGuickan, described at p. 272, we are 
apprised, by Mr. Dickey, that the attorney having attended 
a meeting of United Irishmen, seemingly as one of the 

* The late venerable R. 0. Bishop of Down and Connor, Dr. Den- 
Tir, -was intimately associated with Russell in early life, as he per- 
«>nally assured the author. For allusions to Russell see p. 279. 


stauuchest of themselves, he informed on all who were pre- 
sent unless General Dickey and one other to whom he bora 
& friendly feeling. Dickey and MacGiiickan were both 
attorneys. Possibly a sense of professional esprit de corps 
in this case, actuated the usually unscrupulous MacGuickan. 

Among the unpublished papers to which we have been 
given access, belonging to the late General Nugent, who 
was commander in Ulster during the troubles, we found 
the following information demonstrative of the connection 
of Presbyterians vidth the conspiracy, and the manner in 
which men's lives were jeopardized by the local spies. 
Having forwarded this document to Mr. Dickey, to see if 
he could recognize any of the names, he replied in a very 
communicative letter. Some of the details may seem tri- 
vial, but, for the reason elsewhere given, every authentic 
fact connected with the EebeUion in Ulster is worth pre- 

" I return the examination of Sam. Hume ; I will inform 
you of any others you may forward to me. 

" The scene is laid where I was born, I know every name, 
field, and house, and part is on my family's property. The 
name, Hume (or Wham, as our Scottish patois hath it), is 
a very rare and low name thereabouts, until the advent of 
our late M.P., the heir of Lord Macartney, of Chinese 
fame, who, however, disguised it under that cognomen. 
The most respectable and worthy of note before, was 
Johnny Wham, the bellman in BaUymena, from that part, 
who perched himseK in the market-house steeple above his 
bell, and on 7th June, '98, and following days called out, 
as the bodies of United Irishmen appeared : — ' More 
friends fur Clough/ Cullybackey, or 'elsewhere.' This Sam. 
was probably his son or nephew, as he has 'junior ' at hia 
name ; doing a bit of pretended loyalty for his landlord, to 
show the Government, through General Nugent, the great 
necessity that existed for him to receive the pay, &c., as a 
Captain of his Yeomanry Corps, which signalized bim and 
themselves by running away at the battle of Antrim, when 
they saw Colonel Lumley, Captain Gamble, and other offi- 
cers, and some 96 dragoons faU at the charge, from the 
rebel fire at the church-yard wall. Mr. Stewart Moore 
and his corps never halted their troop horses till stopped 


by intercepting parties of rebels, and finally, by the sea at 
Dunseveric, some 16 miles Irisli, from tbe scene of action, 
-they riding not straight there, but by aU imaginable bye- 
roads, to evade the rebels, and telling they were fired at 
from imagiaary garrisons in the bleach-greens they passed 
in their flight. On the part of the men this was not all 
from cowardice, but because most of them were favourable 
to the cause of the rebels. Several of these yeomanry and 
runaways were taken prisoners by the rebels advancing on 
Ballymena, which they took under James Dickey ; * Mr. 
Stewart Moore being one. Mr. Stewart Moore was also a 
magistrate and gentleman of family, and Scottish and 
Presbyterian descent, of good estate, and amiable disposi- 
tion. He it was who struck the Bible and hand when the 
'Popery oath' was put to my grandfather at the election, 
at which Mr. Stewart Moore was assessor, and though on 
the opposite interest, could not understand, and would 7wt 
allow the insult to be ofiered to my grandfather, who was 
a personal friend of his, as well as from some family alli- 

"Partisan Magistrates kept such fellows as Hume to 
concoct stories after, and even before '98. On these lies, 
they burned houses, flogged, haK-hanged, imprisoned and 
maltreated men, and especially women and girls, to goad 
the people into insurrection, unarmed and helpless, of 
which I could adduce many instances. The date of this 
examination is 1800, two years after the people were sup- 
pressed in blood and torture. 

"Doctor Patrick was the son of a small farmer, near 

* In a subsequent letter Mr. Dickey writes : — In my last I think 
there is confusion in the sentence ahout James Stewart Moore's 
yeomanry, meeting " a body of rebels," under Jamies Dickey, and 
marching on Ballymena, which they took. In their flight, they fell 
in with the videttes and skirmishers of James Dickey's (the General) 
regiment, and the men of Eandalstown and others, they having 
taken that town, and were marching. Captain Ellis, Jones of Money- 
glass, and the yeoman prisoners they had secured there, and this 
was the nucleus of the " Army of the EepubBo." Ballymena was 
taken, when they got there, by other regiments, and officers, and the 
garrison prisoners (whose names and acts I could give). Among 
them was my imcle, Adam Dickey, and his division, with their offi- 
cers J also my grandfather's, and his brother's old Cullybaokey Tolnn. 
teers, and the inhabitants around almost to a man." 


Cairncastle, in Co. Antrim. The 'Doctor' waa one of my 
earliest acquaintances, from his being the accoucheur who 
attended my mother at my birth, a friendship that lasted 
to the last day of his life. Being well-known to be in the 
secrets of the United Irishmen, this ' informer ' had only 
to my Patrick was a Colonel — ^which he never was. The 
Doctor was a very peaceable and timid man, honest and 
truthful, and deservedly trusted. He was one of the 
' Committee of Public Safety,' which sat in Eallymena, and 
professed to give all the orders which James Dickey, their 
General, foolishly executed, like a zealous, impulsive man 
as he was. But the Doctor was a man of peace, and never 
an officer. He took care to cultivate friends on the oppo- 
site side, and took Major M'Cleverty into his house, who 
was made prisoner, and slightly wounded in the head, of 
which he (M'Cleverty) made the most. Doctor Patrick 
was a Presbyterian of Scotch origin, and remained a re- 
former till lus death, about 1863. I was a great favourite 
of his — ^he liked my views. You will observe, in this in- 
formation, that the term ' Defender,' and Defenderism is 
employed — never United Irishman. The Catholics in '98, 
as a body, stood ahof, only a few here and there joining in 
opposition to the priests. They also became yeomanry. 
But mark what they got for their loyalty. They were 
flogged, hunted, and driven out, as bad, and even in some 
places worse than the Presbyterian rebels, hence 'De- 
fender' is used here to imply they were Catholics, or asso- 
ciated with Catholics, whom the authorities and their 
tools in the North laid aU the blame of the rebellion upon, 
to raise up the Orange lodges lately instituted, to divide 
and distract the United Irishmen. Doctor Thompson was 
a man I knew also when a boy, he was a United Irishman, 
but never a Defender, and not after '98, also a Presby- 
terian. The Boyds, respectable farmers of the Forthtown, 
were old volunteers in the Clough corps, raised by Rev. 
Mr. Douglas, Presbjrterian Minister, whose wife was sister 
of my grand-uncle, Campbell of Ballygarvie, and his bro- 
thers, the Colonel Hugh and Captain Eobert Campbells, of 
the Dungannon Meeting, Commanding the ' Glorious 
Memory Battalion,' and BaUygarvie Volunteers. Dungal, 
part of it, was then the property of my grandmother, 

(544. APPENDIX. 

widow of William McNaugMen, Esq., of Ballyreagh, Old- 
stone, Oo. Antrim, and tlie Boyds were her tenants, Pres- 
byterians ; and all that country United Irishmen, and in 
rebellion with their minister who succeeded him. Glen- 
ravel was also the property of my mother. It was in- 
habited by Catholics not in the rebellion, hence this spy 
points out Baffin and M'Canbridge, both Catholics. The 
ancestor of the former was placed on our lands for a re- 
markable act of honesty. None of them were ever Captains 
or officers in any. There were no arms in the country in 
1800, or /or long before. Mitchel is one of their stranger 
spies from Tjrrone, and this villain is dubbed a ' Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel ! ! !' of Defenders ! ! ! ' They won't dis- 
cover where the arms are concealed,' he says, ' till they 
are forced to do so ;' this was to keep up the yeomanry 
floggings, pitch-cappiags, and half-hangings. The Moores 
were Presbyterians, and all the inhabitants, like my own 
father's family, who owned nearly it all, were United 
Irishmen, and in arms with my family in the rebellion. 
He says, he 'knows many persons who have concealed 
arms, but cannot at present recollect their names.' WU 
son and the other names are all very common people, and 
only put in for that reason, and their being numerous. 
They flogged such fellows, and traitors of aU kinds, after 
'98, but there were tio arms, nor organization of any kind 
amongst the oppressed people, who were only too glad to 
get living at peace from the military, and a tyrant magis- 
tracy, and yeomanry, and informers." 

SAML. HUME's examination — COUNTY OF ANTRIM. 

The information of Samuel Hume, junior, of Moneydufi', 
taken on oath before me, James Stewart Moore, Esq., a 
magistrate of said county, saith that Doctor Patrick of 
Ballymena, is a Colonel of Defenders, and that he gave 
materials to make gunpowder on or about the month of 
February, 1799, to the Boyds of Dungal, in the Forth- 
town, and that James Thompson of Ballymena, apothecary, 
did also give a sum to sift gunpowder to the aforesaid 
Boyds, and that the said Thompson is an officer of superior 
rank to a Colonel among the Defenders. Informant saith 
that John Hanna, near Dundermot Bridge, did receive a 


considerable quantity of gunpowder from the aforesaid 
Boyds, which informant has reason to believe was part of 
the powder manufactured by the said Boyds. Informant 
says that he knows James Baffin, of Glenravel, to be a 
Captain of the Defenders, and that he has heard the said 
Baffin often say that he was present when a vast number 
of arms were concealed in Glenravel, between four and five 
hundred stand of arms was the number that the said 
Baffin mentioned, and that M'Oanbridge the cooper, of 
Glenravel, whose brother was transported about six months 
ago, for being a flogger, has in his possession a quantity of 
ball cartridges, and knows where a number of arms are 
concealed. Informant further saith, that account of the 
oaths and obligations those persons have taken never to 
discover where arms are concealed, and the most dreadful 
and terrible threats that have been made against any 
person who wiU discover the same, that informant verily 
believes they will never make any discovery until they are 
forced to do so. Patrick Mitchel, formerly of the county 
of Tyrone, but for some time past has been travelling this 
county for the purpose of encouraging Befenderism, is a 
Lieutenant-Colonel of Befenders; John Moore of Cully- 
backey, is a Captain, and informant saith, that he and the 
aforesaid Mitchel were often concerned in taking up arms, 
and that they sent summonses to a number of Befenders 
the day after the middle muster in BaUymena, which was 
about the 19th of Becember past, ordering them to meet 
at the house of WiUiam Craiges, who lives near the 
Cloghey mill, and that twenty-six men did attend the next 
night at the house of said Craiges for the purpose of 
disarming a number of Kasharkin yeomanry, but on 
account of the snow they thought it prudent to put it off 
to another time lest they should be traced. Informant 
saith that said William Craiges was the man appointed to 
conmiand the party that disarmed a number of the Eashar- 
kin yeomanry, on or about the 13th of January, inst., and 
that said Craiges knows where the arms were concealed. 
Informant saith, that the committee of Befenders frequently 
meet at the house of John Moor, innkeeper, BaUymena, 
on Saturday, the market-day, and sometimes have papers 
along with them, but do not often, bring papers, and that 


Eobert Wilson, stocking weaver, of Ballymena, is a mes- 
senger, and is employed by the committee, for the purpose 
of bringing and convejring intelligence. Informant saith 
that Eobert M'Craken of Drimall, AiagMl, is a Captain of 
Defenders, and that informant has heard from some of the 
Defenders captains, that the Defenders are a more nume- 
rous and better organized, in the Counties of Down and 
Deny, than what they are in Antrim, and that the prin- 
cipal leaders in the Counties of Down and Derry are much 
dissatisfied at some of the Defenders in Antrim for creating 

a disturbance. Informant saith that Adam * of 

BaUyhoyUn, was an associate of them, and said Patrick 
Mitchel who was president at a Defenders' meeting held at 
the house of Kobertson of BaUyhoylin, in the month of 
February, and that said Calwell did attend that meeting. 
Informant saith, Calwell knows where twenty-six are con- 
cealed, and informant saith that he has heard and believes 
that Eobert Crawford who lives near the Cloghwater was 
the man who flogged Alexander Gartlin the sub-constable, 
of CloghmiUs, in the beginning of last summer. Informant 
saith that he knows many persons who have concealed 
arms, but cannot at present recollect all their names. 
" Sworn before me, January the 26th, 1800. 

" (Signed) James St. Moore. 

" (Signed) Samuel Hume." 

Our correspondent alludes to the floggings, torturiags, 
burnings, and half -hangings which at last goaded the people 
into resistance. This vUe policy seems now-adays incred- 
ible ; but that it was sedulously planned by Statesmen is, 
nnhappUy, too true. In addition to the evidence supplied 
Rt p. 107, it may be observed that Lord Castlereagh him- 
self confessed, on the examination of Dr. McNevin, that 
" means were taken to make the United Irish system 
explode ;" and in Parliament he tried to vindicate the use 
of torture, adding that it would be unmanly to deny what 
notoriously existed. Moreover, the report of the Secret 
Committee records — " It appears, from a variety of evi 
dence laid before your committee, that the Bebellion woulf 

• Word Ulegible 


not have broken out so soon as it did, had it not been for 
the well-timed measures adopted by Government !" (fee. 

Discontent had been ripened into rage, and rage was at 
last extinguished in its own hot blood. The scheme was 
to wring from Ireland, when prostrate from exhaustion ani 
loss of blood, her most valuable gem — a domestic Legis- 

But to re-open General Nugent's portfolio and unfold the 
knotted bonds of blood, which, hke layers of red tape, bind 
his correspondence. If the Crawfords, the Blackwoods, the 
Wards, the Kennedys, the EccHns, and the Hutchisons pre- 
served their patience, and refused to be goaded into resistance 
and revolt, it assuredly was not the f aidt of General Nugent, 
or his hopeful pupil in insolent oppression. Colonel Atherton. 
Luckily the green fields of Crawf ordsbourn were not ripped 
up by the axe of attainder ; and constitutional patriotism 
continued to bloom on their shamrocked sward. 


" Newtownards, 20th June, 1798, half-past eleven. 

" Deab Sib, — I have had tolerable success to-day m 
apprehending the persons mentioned in the memorandum. 
The list is as foUows. [Twenty-seven names here occur.] 
We have burned Johnstone's house at Crawford's-Bourn- 
MOls, at Bangor, destroyed the furniture of Pat. Agnew, 
James Francis, and Gibbison, and Campbell's, not finished 
yet, at BaUyholme ; burned the house of Johnston at the 
Demesnes near Bangor ; the houses of Jas. Kichardson and 
John Scott at BaUymaconneU-Mills ; burned the house of 
M'ConneU, miller, and James Martin, a Captain and a 
friend of M'CuUock's, hanged at BaUinahinch. Grooms- 
port, reserved. Cotton, the same. 

" We have also the following prisoners, on the informa- 
tion of different people. [Here follows a list.] 

" We hope you will think we have done tolerably well. 
To-morrow we go to Portaferry, or rather to its neighbour- 
hood. Ought we not to punish the gentlemen of the 
country who have never assisted the well-disposed people, 
yeomanry, &c. 1 For my own part, a gentleman of any 
kind, but more particularly a magistrate, who deserts hia 
post at such a period, ought to be 1 wiU not say what 


" Mr. EccUn, of Ecclinville ; Kev. Hutuneson, Donagha- 
dee ; Mr. Arbuckle, Collector of Donaghadee, an official 
man ; Mr. Ker, Portavo ; Mr. Ward of Bangor, is now, and 
only now, to be found. 

" List of inactive magistrates, or rather friends to the 
United Irishmen : — Sir John Blackwood ; John Crawford, 
of Crawford's-Bourn ; John Kennedy, Cultra, <fec. But, 
among others, Eev. H. Montgomery, of Kosemount, who is 
no friend to Government, or to its measures, and whom I 
strongly suspect. I have got his bailiff. 

" Believe me, dear sir, with the greatest respect and 
esteem, your most faithful servant. 

"Q. Q. Atherton." 

If the fair form of Erjn found her quivering flesh scourged 
by the unfihal hands of a Hepenstall or a Leslie, England 
sent superior muscle to this cruel labour in the person of 
Lake, Atherton, and Nugent. 

That the sketch given by Mr. Dickey, in his letter to the 
author, is no traditional exaggeration, we further know, on 
the authority of General Nugent himself. Having issued 
a proclamation in June, caUing upon the insurgents to lay 
down their arms, which they had been goaded into using 
more in seK-defence than with any other object, he writes : 
" Should the above injunctions not be complied with, 
Major-General Nugent wiU proceed to set fire to and totally 
destroy the towns of KiUaleagh, Ballynahinch, Saintfield, 
KiUinchy, and every cottage and farm-house in the vicinity 
jf these places, and put every one to the sword who may 
be found in arms : it behoves all weU-affected persons to 
exert themselves to have these terms complied with, as it 
is the only opportunity there vrill be of rescuing themselves 
and properties from the indiscriminate vengeance of an 
army necessarily let loose upon them ! " 

This proclamation was promptly answered by a broad- 
sheet, which was found simultaneously posted on the chapel 
doors and dead walls of Antrim ; but the popular manifesto 
was, in most instances, torn down before it had time to 

" Irishmen" — it began — " our best citizens are entombed 
in bastUes, or hurried on board tenders — our wives and our 


children are become the daily victims of a Hcentious foreign 
soldieiy ! Ulster — one of yoar fairest provinces, containing 
one-third of the population of the land — Ulster, hitherto 
the pride and strength of Ireland, is proclaimed and put 
under the ban of martial law I The Government of the 
country has sentenced us to military execution without 
trial, and the Legislature has sanctioned this illegal act 
without inquiry. 

" We are united in an organized system — not to promote 
murder, but peace — not to destroy persons and property, 
but to save both from destruction. Lastly, beloved country- 
men, we are solemnly pledged to co-operate with you in 
every temperate and rational measure for obtaining the 
freedom of our country, by a fuU and adequate representa- 
tion of all the people of Ireland, without regard to religi- 
ous distinctions. These are the crimes of Ulster — they are 
the common crimes of Ireland. Our intentions have been, 
and stiU are, to obtain the great objects of our pursuit, 
through the means of calm discussion and their own un- 
questionable justice. The common enemy knows that 
these are the most powerful and irresistible weapons. It is 
therefore that they have practised on us a system of reite- 
rated aggression, unparalleled in the history of civilized 
nations, for the purpose of goading us into insurrection, or 
driving us to despair." 

Mr. Dickey corrects a misprint, in the Sliam Squire, in 
which Donegore Moat is designated " Donegal Moat" (see p. 
271). "Therewerenomeetingsforinsurrectionarypurposes," 
writes Mr. Dickey, "on Donegore Moat in Dec, 1798. 
This letter is only to show LesUe's great vigilance." 

" Donegore HUl is the S. end of a chain of hills running 
N. and S. in centre of the country, and is one of its most 
defensible positions, or campfs, as selected by the officers of 
the United Irish Directory, and I believe Wolfe Tone and 
TeeHng. It is bounded by the vaUey and river of the 
Sixmile jnUit ob E, and S., and is otherwise very defensible 
for troops, with artillery or rifles, but not for the poor 
creatures, not one-half of whom even had the utterly luelesa 
pike, which the hired informers still would urge them to 
believe a military weapon. It was chosen as the mala 
CMnp, and in '98 the rebels after taking the towns, were tc 


occupy it, and they did, to be deceived by the lying 
promises of 'Kents being brought back to 3s. and 4:S. per 
acre, Irish, by the landlords — ^no paper money — ^provisions 
not to be sent to England, nor cattle to Scotland — tythea 
and the English Church to be abolished.' All this, and 
more, it was promised, should he settled, if they would lay 
dovm their arms and go home, by some of their aristocratic 
prisoners, and believed by the common herd, who suffered 
so much after for their credulity. This camp overawed 
Antrim, Carrickf ergus, and frightened Belfast, while a dozen 
men were on it. 

"' Donegore Moat is an old Irish artificial mound, or court 
of the Brehons, or highest chiefs ; though to me it appears 
to contain ruins or inner chambers (probably like the Moat 
of Grange), and the hoUow sound of stamping on it with 
the feet, seems to confirm the idea. It stands on a spur 
of the S.S.W. face, and with its trenches, flanks parts of 
two sides of the hill. It was like some others, a favourite 
place of meeting of the United Irishmen before '98, from the 
lonely situation ; and the vritches and supernatural things 
expected to be seen there, kept women and children away, 
iinother great reason of device was the level flat close to 
the mount, within the inner fosse and ramparts of these old 
moats for assemblys of the people. They were good exer- 
cising places, out of view, easily defended, and the watch- 
man on the mount could see for miles in aU directions. 
Some farmer wretch has dug down much of its height of 
late, and tilled it over; and as they are changing the 
ancient names on the Ordnance Survey, and maps of the 
Landed Estates Court, mayhap to denationalize the Irish of 
Ireland, I suppose they wiU call it ' Mount Pleasant' soon. 
The last twenty years has produced names on the Ordnance 
maps of this country new to its inhabitants. 

" D. Leslie, whose letter appears in the Sham Squire, 
p. 271, was Colonel of the Monaghan militia, a regi- 
ment cliiefly composed of the scum of the lowest class of 
Roman Catholics, who were no doubt ordered by Castlereagh 
or Clare to do the murdering of the country people, and 
others at Antrim, and on the way there, to create a horror 
(which they did) amongst the United Irishmen to that 
religion, amongst the common Presbyterian rebels. The 


openly instigated cruelty and dastardly murders of thia 
regiment is stiU remembered, and I could give many name( 
and anecdotes of their ■victims there, and in BeKast. 

" The name printed as ' Dulry,' in the Sham Squire, p. 
^71, should obviously be "Dicky" and one of the tran- 
sition stages of my own name towards Saxonization. So 
spelled in 1596 and 1660 in common with 'Dick6,' by 
my own ancestors in deeds and documents. Dickie since 
1760 is spelled Dickey.* 

"With reference to General Nugent's papers in the Sham 
Squire, p. 271, it must have been James Dickey, the 
general, who lived in that neighbourhood, for whom these 
pikes were said to be made, though fourteen was a small 
affair for him, when nearly 2,000 were manufactured in 
one evening, that night, and next morning, and were in 
action at twelve and one the same day, for and xmder the 
auspices of a near relative of mine, and namesake in '98. 
This was on the night before the rebellion began. It is 
an historic fact, adds Mr. Dickey, but singularly httle 
known, that all the towns and villages in the County Antrim 
were taken by the rebels, except Belfast, in 1798." 

Mr. Dickey after again expressing a hope that we may 
be able to discover, on documental authority, the reci- 
pient of the reward for the apprehension of General 
Dickey, applies the same remark to the following names. 
It may possibly be in some reader's power to furnish the 
information he desires. 

Thomas Archer executed and hung in chains at BaEy- 

Doctor W. Linn or Lynn, executed by court-martial, 
1798, at Eandaktown. 

* " Previously the priests latinized ns in Chaxters as De Dyk and 
De Die. Being on the border we were being constantly lolled off by 
the English, and held as feudal tenants for its defence, till 1607-8, 
when James 1st seized our lands to please the English, and gave us 
property (of some other plundered person) in Antrim, and Derry 
much against our will. At the battle of Flodden my ancestor took 
the standard of a Lord Constable, and is mentioned by the English 
poet who celebrates it as ' McDawkey with his servaunds Botdde,' 
&c., and the Saxon ' son' was sometimes affixed to our names making 
ss from son of S into DieMesoun from whom one Sept of the name 
So we are growing Saxon by degrees you see." 


Eoderick or Roddy, or Eoyce McOurley (McGorley, 
or McSorley). 

The system of hanging in chains noticed by Mr. Dickey, 
was not unfrequent in the North of Ireland during the 
RebelKon and subsequently. The late Dr. Henry Fulton, 
4 native of Fermanagh, informed us that on one occasion 
when John Toler, Lord Norbury, and Leonard MacNaUy, 
were travelling together through a northern county, they 
passed one of these revolting exhibitions. The Chief knew 
MacNaUy to be a rogue, and often playfuUy expressed as 
much to him. " Ah ! said he, with a jocular grimace as 
he poked MacNally in the side, " If Jack had his due." 
" By Jove if he had my Lord, I'd be traveUing alone," was 
the witty rejoinder. An impromptu epitaph on a wretched 
man hung in chains, said : — 

" He reata in peace, 
Wlien the ■wind dott cease.'' 



Among the many blood-stained betrayers who have ob 
tained niches in our Chamber of Horrors, no glimpse has 
hitherto been obtained of Dr. Conlan, a "United Irish- 
man," and physician of Dundalk, whose treachery brought 
to the scaffold two of his associates, namely, Mr. Hoey, 
grandfather of J. Cashel Hoey, now of the English bar, 
and editor of one of the quarterly reviews ; and Anthony 
Marmion, father of the author of the Maritime Ports of 
Ireland. Dr. Conlan, with the same fatal object, waited 
upon an old friend and colleague. Dr. Dromgoole, but the 
latter, with rare tact, evaded the kiss of peace with which 
a brother physician sought to deliver him into the jaws of 
death. Dr. Dromgoole, who was at that time a practitioner in 
Newry, came on business to Dundalk, and, of course, went 
to visit the rooms of the United Irishmen. He was then 
introduced to Conlan; but the sheep's clothing was too 
scanty to conceal the propensities of the wolf. The Doctor 
immediately pronounced a verdict on the integrity of 


Conlan, which subsequent events proved, unfortunately, to 
have been too true. Nor was Dromgoole the only one to 
whom the cloven hoof of the betrayer was revealed. Mr. 
John Warren, father of the present John Warren, wool- 
merchant, went to the society rooms to be sworn in as a 
United Irishman ; on entering he found none present but 
Conlan, who was intently reading some manuscripts, which 
he carefully concealed on Warren's approach. The latter, 
moved by that instinct which so often warns of impending 
danger, was met on the landing by Father Quigley, or 
O'Goigley, to whom he told his unwillingness to become a 
member while Conlan should be present. " Oh, John," said 
the Priest, " the Doctor is as true to the cause as the needle 
is to the pole." "Well, sir," replied the other, "that's an 
opinion which forthcoming events will either strengthen or 
destroy." Of the truth of this remark the unfortunate 
clergyman had a sad experience. Father Quigley proceeded 
to England en route for France, but the bloodhounds 
scented him out. He was arrested at Margate, identified 
by a cabinet-maker from Dundalk, named Hatch, and 
hanged as an Irish rebeL 

The details, so industriously gathered by our Corre- 
spondent, may to some readers appear too full ; but 
their very circumstantiality gives to them an interest, 
authenticity, and authority which they might not otherwise 
to the same extent possess, and they are further acceptable 
to the historic student for two reasons, namely, that, as 
stated by Mr. Dickey, all details of the Eebellion in the 
North met the fate of suppression. Secondly, that Messrs. 
D' Alton and O'Flanagan, in 'their otherwise exhaustive 
History of Dundalh, confine their narrative of the incidents 
of EebeUion in that town to an extract (p. 205), from Dr. 
Madden's " United 7mA«j«w," descriptive of Napper Tandy's 
visit to Dundalk in 1798. We have no desire to include 
among the suppressors of history two such frank historians 
as Messrs. D' Alton and O'Flanagan ; the inference is that; 
they failed to obtain access to the pectiliar sources of infor- 
mation opened to our Dundalk correspondent, Mr. Mathews. 
As introductory to the following narrative, it may be 
interesting to premise that the Dronigooles belonged origin 
ally to Drogheda, where they resided >»• "rincely state it 


Dromgoole Castle, a portion of whicli has survived the wreck 
of ages, and is still to be seen as an evidence of the massive 
grandeur of the old Irish mansion in- feudal days. When 
Cromwell made his incursions northwards, he met with a 
stern resistence in Drogheda from the founder of Dromgoole 
Castle. Numbers at last overpowered the Irish chieftain, 
and he was taken out and hanged from the spikes of his 
own gate, which tradition tells were tipt with silver, and 
Cromwell drew up his plan of Dundalk comfortably seated 
in the drawingroom of Dromgoole Castle, while life was fast 
ebbing in its princely proprietor without. Of this family 
there were seven sons, who, during the sack of Drogheda, 
fled for the safety which their native town could not afford. 
Some went south and some northward. The historic records 
of the time appear to have lost sight of this ancient sept 
until the wars between William and James, when one of 
them is again found living in stately grandeur in BeUingan 
Castle, with an income of £5,000 a-year, which, considering 
the value of money at that time, must have been enormous. 
But here again was experienced those reverses of fortune 
which seemed incidental to the family. He was dispossessed 
by the Williamites, and his fine property was parcelled out 
amongst the sycophants and adventurers who followed the 
fortunes of Widiam. His immediate successor in Bellingan 
Castle was a man named Tipping, a lineal descendant of 
whom is still in possession. Immediately after the Battle 
of the Boyne another member of the Dromgoole family 
settled as a bleacher of linen on the banks of the Ban, at 
BeUevarlie, possessing an estate of several hundred acres of 
land. He married a Miss Crawley, daughter of Baron 
Crawley, by whom he had four sons; one of these succeeded 
his father in the estate, and married a Miss O'Neill, the 
other three having studied at Saint Omer's, became physi- 
cians, the only profession then open to a Catholic. One 
married a Miss Magennis of Ulster, the other married a 
Miss M'Neill, the third never married, but lived to become 
a most distinguished orator in popular politics. The 
Doctor Dromgoole alluded to above in connection with 
Conlan, waa son of John Dromgoole, who remained at 
BeUevarlie, and nephew to the Dromgoole of Veto celebrity. 
Readers of Wyse's HistorM of the Catholic Association, will 

DUNDALK IN '98. 355 

remember the spirited sketch given of him as one of the 
pillara of the earlier Catholic Board. 

Dr. Conlan's correspondence with Major Sirr, preserved 
among the papers of the latter in Trinity College, Dublin, 
reveal that the phlebotomising Doctor was also in hot scent 
after the hotter blood of Nicholas Markey, a non-commis- 
sioned officer in Sir P. Bellew's Barmeath Corps of Yeo 

Mr. John Mathews, of DundaJk, has been so kind as to 
put himself in personal communication with the represen- 
tatives of the parties referred to, and an elaborate detail, 
gathered from the most authentic sources, is the result : 

dundj^xk in '98. 

" The peaceful and picturesque town of Dundalk, which 
had once been the seat of royalty and learning, appears to 
have lost its faith in the ' divine right of kings,' and to have 
partaken in the general disaffection which prevailed through- 
out Ireland in '98, and made that year a history of 
treachery and bloodshed, with no other alternations than 
those diabolical scenes which invariably result from the 
delegation of power to minions, sycophants, and adven- 
turers. On the 24th of June, a meeting of the insurgents, 
convened by the authority of the Dublin Directory of 
United Irishmen, was held at a place called the Fishpond, 
at the rere of LisnawiUy, now the residence of Patrick 
James Byrne, Esq., Clerk of the Crown.* 

" Amongst the many who attended this Meeting there were 
two men from Dundalk, whose escape from the fangs of 
the informer seems somewhat singular ; these were John 
Warren (aUuded to above) and Arthur M'Kone (father of 
Canon M'Kone, P.P. of Termonfeckin). When they reached 

* Mr. MathewB, in the private letter which enclosed these details, 
wrote, March 17th, 1869 : — " Mr. Byrne, of LianawiUy, is a high 
authoiity on the unpublished history of the county." Two days 
later, Mr. Byrne was dead! If we needed any justification for 
the details thus gathered, it is to be found in si^iificant facts like 
these. The Oowrt Cvrculair, noticing another bpot of ours, observes : 
" Its facts are derived from personal conversations with aged persona 
who had themselves participated in the scenes. It was well that 
these facts should be rescued from the oblivion into which the hand 
of death was fast drawing them," 


the Fishpond, M'Kone stuck the head of Ms pike in the 
pond, and with one bound cleared the banks, exclaiming, 
' John, I'm first on the ground.' 

" The meeting was a very large one — Louth, Meath, 
Cavan, Monaghan, and Armagh were well represented, as 
the object was both important anl hazardous, viz. : — to take 
possession of the military barracks in Dundalk. The route 
was to be a direct passage through Lord Roden's demesne, 
entering the town by O'Hare's gateway, now owned by Mr. 
M'Donald, a baker. At this post a man stood to direct 
strangers to the various points of attack. A signal was to 
have been given by the outlying sentry, who, it is said, was 
in the confidence of some of the leading insurgents; be this 
as it may, the signal did not reach the meeting from some 
cause hitherto unknown, and likely to remain so now. A large 
body of men from Philipstown and Belrobbin was to have 
led the van, but their leaders did not come forward. About 
midnight, a thunder-storm broke forth, the like of which 
has not since been known. The peals of thunder were so 
loud as to render it impossible to hear those standing close 
by shouting in your ear, while the country round, far as the 
eye could reach, seemed as if lighted up by some immense 
conflagration, so vivid and incessant were the flashes of 
lightning. A bystander declared that hundreds of them 
fled homewards, believing the world to have been at an 
end ; some sought shelter under the little bridge at Myer's- 
cross ; while others were so paralysed with fear that they 
were unable to move, but resigned themselves to the fate 
which seemed inevitable. The rain then descended in tor- 
rents until daybreak, when the remainder of the insurgents 
crept from their places of shelter, and went home ; and 
thus ended the meeting at the Fishpond, the largest one 
ever held in Louth for revolutionary purposes. 

"M'Kone, Warren, and the late James M'Alister, of Cam- 
Drickville, were hotly pursued, but a sergeant in the Yeo- 
manry, named Blake, a Protestant, extended the hand of 
friendship to them. He kept them concealed in an old 
cellar for nearly a week, and at the risk of his life, had 
them conveyed in a lime boat from Sir John Macneill's 
(sic.). They were landed in Cheshire, where they remained 
until the times became more settled, when they got their 


pardon, and returned to thank their generous protector for 
Laving saved their lives at the imminent risk of his own.' 
" Another very important meeting took place at th( 
Scotchgreen, about two miles from Dundalt, so called froir. 
a family of Scotchmen who settled there as manufacturers 
and bleachers of linen. These were supplied with the pre- 
pared material by a number of weavers who were located 
in ParHament-square, now the cavalry barracks, but deriv- 
ing its former name from a grant given by the Irish Parlia- 
ment. This meeting, which gave a decided turn to the 
whole current of events which subsequently followed, was 
held in Union Lodge, the residence of the unfortunate 
TeeUng. From the commanding position of Dundalk, 
possession of it was considered worth fighting for. A large 
number of the leaders of the Irish rebellion were present, 
among whom were Mr. Teeling, Mr. Turner, of Turner's 
Glen, Newry, Mr. N. Markey and Mr. Thomas Markey, 
both of the Seaside, Dundalk, Mr. Anthony M'Cann, of 
Corderry, commonly called ' Croppy M'Cann ;' and Mr. 
John Byrne, of Castletown, a very extensive merchant 
(one of the Byrnes of MuUinahack*), and a number of 
the Directory from Dublin. But the spy — ^for the cul- 
ture of which Ireland is unfortunately pre-eminent — 
began the work of deceit and destruction. Information 
was sent to the authorities, and the military immediately 
ordered out. The officers stopped for refreshment at 
Dransfield's (now Arthur's) Hotel, where the intended en- 
counter was unreservedly talked over. The refreshments 
were served up by a man named Terence Flanagan, who 
hearing the conversation, sent a messenger across the de- 
mesne to anticipate the arrival of the soldiery, and to give 
the messenger a good start, Flanagan endeavoured to de- 
tain the officers as long as possible, by making many blun- 
ders and mistakes in bringing up the articles called for 
In the meantime, the messenger made the best of his way, 
but being feeble, he was about to give up the race, when 
he met a man named Koddy, a gardener, who volunteered 

* For details of the extraordinary romance with which is inter- 
woven, the career of the Byrnes of Mullinahaok, see " CwHous 
Family History, or Ireland Before tlu Vninn, a Sequel to the ShMr 
Squire," pp. 16S-20O. 


to deliver the message, and did so. But the -warning was 
there already. The Kev. James Eastwood, of Castletown, — 
uncle to the late James Eastwood, for the attempted murder 
of whom the two men were hung in Dundalk in 1852 — 
hearing from headquarters of the intended expedition, sent 
a man named Haughey, in aU haste, with a note to put into 
Mr. Byrne's own hand. When Haughey arrived at the 
Lodge, there were ten of the gentlemen outside — Byrne, 
Markey, Teeling and Turner, the other six were strangers. 
When Byrne read the note, he turned round, and said : — 
' Gentlemen, it's all up — there are informers among us — the 
red-coats will be here in five minutes ! ' ' We'll fight to 
the last,' replied Teeling and Turner in one voice. So 
sudden was the invasion of the soldiery that Teeling and 
Turner had only time to conceal themselves at the bottom 
of the garden. The others escaped in different directions. 
As soon as the soldiers entered the Lodge, the officer in 
command exclaimed — ' Ah, here's the nest, but the birds 
have flown 1' The extensive premises of Mr. Byrne were 
then set fire to, both in Salttown and Castletown, and to- 
tally destroyed. It is said that these premises were largely 
insured, and they having been burnt by direction of Jona- 
than Seaver, who held a captaincy in the Louth Yeomanry, 
that gentleman's estates were put under a mortgage. Of 
the many individuals who were thus unceremoniously 
routed, few of them ever met again. Byrne, who had a 
friend in the Austrian service, named Colonel Begg, also 
obtained a commission in it, and fought at the battle of 
Marengo, where he got a gun-shot wound in the hip, 
which lamed him for Ufe. Turner went to the Isle of 
Man, and having quarrelled there with a gentleman named 
Boyce, uncle in marriage to the late Mr. Eastwood, of 
Castletown, agreed that the dispute should be settled 
by an appeal to arms. The two beUigerents, with their 
friends, repaired to the spot of honour, and as Turner was 
preparing for the struggle, his adversary shot him through 
the head ; and thus terminated the career of a man, whose 
only regret was, that his life was not lost in the service of 
his country. Poor Teeling's fate is too well-known. He 
was hanged, his rankest offence seemingly being that he 
would not lament the death of an enemy to Ireland. On 


his tomb might in justice to his memory be inscribed — 
'Patrice infelici _fidelis.' 

"M'Cann and Markey fled to France, where they remained 
until the expedition to Ireland, which sailed from Brest on 
the 16th December. They were in the Admiral's vessel, 
which was separated from the rest of the squadron by 
adverse winds, and landed again in France. Markey 
entered the French army, and died at Fontainbleau, having 
attained the rank of Colonel. M'Cann settled in Hamburgh, 
where he became a prince merchant and a popular man. 
After he had been in his adopted home for some time, he 
longed to visit his native land, and eventually carried out 
his wish. He landed at Dundalk in the garb of a peasant, 
but the disguise was not sufficient to secure him from the 
keen scent of the bloodhounds. He went to the residence 
of Mr. Philip Boylan, his brother-in-law, and that night 
the soldiers surrounded the house. M'Cann's sister, by an 
extraordinary stratagem, kept the fugitive patriot carefuUj 
concealed until morning, when, under the shelter which th« 
grey dawn of approaching day afforded, he quitted for evei 
the land he loved so fondly, and served not wisely but too 
well. It was at this time the Poet Campbell made his 
Continental tour, and while at Hamburgh, was introduced 
to the exiled Irishman. In the course of conversation 
M'Cann told Campbell of his midnight visit to Dundalk, 
the home of his childhood, which made such an impression 
on the Poet's mind, that shortly afterwards appeared that 
celebrated lyric, ' The Exile of Erin,' the hero of which was 
' Croppy M'Cann.' 

" Dr. Conlan, of infamous memory, commenced hie work 
of treachery at this period. Conlan, who was a native of 
Dundalk, had been Secretary to the United Irishmen, and 
before suspicion fairly rested on him, he had endeav- 
oured to insinuate himself into the confidence of Dr. 
Dromgoole, who held an honoured and faithful position in 
the Society. 

" Conlan went down to Newry, ostensibly on business of 
the Society, but in reality to ensnare his victims in a trap 
from which he designed they should never escape. When 
Conlan reached Newry, he went to Dr. Dromgoole's resi 
dence. The Doctor waa out. but Conlan pleaded hard foi 


the loan of a horse, saying that Dromgoole would, noi refuse 
him anything, at the same time intimating that they were 
both aKke concerned in the interests of their common 
country. But all was of no use, Mrs. Dromgoole was de- 
termined he should receive no footing there. Having 
come repeatedly to that gentleman's residence, she, 
with great shrewdness and penetration, conceived an 
unaccountable prejudice against him, and earnestly 
besought her husband to have nothing to do with 
that man. Subsequently to this caution, Conlah called on 
the Doctor for a letter of introduction to the North. This 
was when the informer was going to Belfast, where he made 
a sad havoc, until stopped by the Hon. John Jocelyn, 
grandfather of the present Lord Mayo, and NeiU Coleman 
of Dundalk, who declared his oath was bad and his word 
was worse. 

" But Dr. Dromgoole, having been already warned, refused 
Jt, saying : — ' If you bring with you an honest heart, it will 
be the best recommendation you could possess.' These 
words, which were uttered with that force of expression 
peculiar to the Doctor, convinced Conlan that he was not 
likely to succeed in that quarter ; he then pursued other 

" Dr. Dromgoole was subsequently balloted into a cavalry 
corps of yeomen in Newry, and he continued to make his 
position subservient to the interests of the popular move- 
ment. When going out to 'hunt down the rebels,' he 
would always lead the attack in the wrong direction, and 
the fugitives not unfrequently received a timely hint of his 
coming. But the post which he held — that of Captain — 
and the expenses attending it, together with a stud of 
horses, which he was obliged to keep at his own expense, 
almost destroyed his fortune. 

"Two respectable merchants belonging to Dundalk, named 
John Hoey and Anthony Marmion — one the grandfather of 
Jhe present John Cashel Hoey, of the English bar; the 
other, father of the late Anthony Marmion, author of the 
Maritime Ports of Ireland — ^were arrested on private infor- 
mation, and by order of the authorities conveyed to Drogheda. 
While playing a game of baU in the prison yard, an order 
came from Dublin for their immediate execution. They 


were forthwith taken in, and hanged by torch-light. Mar- 
mion's remains were brought to Dundalt, and waked with- 
out a light. The funeral procession was one of the lone- 
liest ever witnessed here, it consisted of the driver of the 
hearse, Friar McGuirk, and a confidential friend of the family 
named Patrick Grant^the people were afraid to join in it. 
A very respectable man, named James Kieran, was 
arrested for a breach of Martial Law, which was then in 
active operation. It appears that this young man had only 
returned from Newry, where he had been purchasing 
English bills to transmit to his father's London correspon- 
dent, and had been reading his night prayers with candle 
light, previous to retiring to bed. The light was observed 
by some of the Yeomanry officers who were prowUng about 
in Lord Eoden's demesne. His room was burst in, and he 
was dragged to the guard-room in the Market-square, where 
he and a clergyman named M'Quillan, committed for a 
similar offence, were shut up with the worst characters of 
the town, and subjected to aU. the indignities which a 
brutal and ignorant soldiery could invent. But even in 
this Pandemonium there was found one honest man who 
had the moral courage to stop such conduct. A man 
aamed Gray, a Protestant, was sergeant of the guard, and 
laving come in from patrol, and seeing the excited state 
)f poor Kieran's feelings, who was then only 18 years of 
age, said he would not stand by and see his neighbour's 
child treated in such a manner. ' Let the law,' said he, 
' such as it is, decide his guUt or his innocence, and deal 
with him accordingly ; but I'U take care that none here 
shall lay a hand on him.' He then took him and the 
clergyman from the remainder of the prisoners, and kept 
them under his own care until morning. From the influ- 
ence and respectability of Mr. Kieran's family it was ex- 
pected that a powerful appeal would be made on his behalf; 
but a man named Shekelton who held a captaincy in the 
yeomanry, and several of the officers protested, and said 
they would throw down their arms if Kieran was not 
flogged. Accordingly a court-martial was held on him the 
following morning, presided over by Colonel Latouche of 
the Carlow militia, and he was sentenced to receive 300 
lashes. His mother who was almost distracted at hearing 


this, ran out, and seeing Lord Koden, and Major Straton, 
fell on her knees, and begged them in the most touching 
terms, which a mother's love could express, to spare her 
child. They told her to rise as all was over. And so it was. 
Poor Kieran was flogged, and conveyed to hospital How- 
ever, he survived the inhuman treatment he received, and 
lived to become one of the most eminent merchants in 
Ireland, with a reputation beyond the reach of malice, and 
a capital of over £100,000. 

" Michael Sherley from Castletown, received 500 lashes, 
and often related that the rats ate the plaster off his back 
while he lay in the cell. The people of Castletown would 
have suffered severely, but for the bravery and intrepidity 
of the Rev. James Eastwood, to whom was deputed the 
power to pardon aU those who gave up their pikes to him. 
A man named O'Hare from Ballinahatina, known by the 
sobriquet of ' Captain,' was taken off his bed by a party 
of Welsh Horse, or Ancient Britons, and conveyed to Dun- 
dalk ; they would not give him time to dress, but put him 
upon horseback naked, until his servant ran after him with 
his clothes, and overtook him as he was entering the town. 
When Mr. Eastwood heard that the Captain was in gaol, 
he immediately came into Dundalk, and ordered the gaoler 
to turn out Daniel O'Hare, that he would answer for him. 
Such was the state of Dundalk, while under the guardian- 
ship of the Welsh Horse, Lord Roden's fox-hunters, and 
Captain Seaver's yeomanry, that the lash and triangle were 
in daily use. These revolting scenes were generally enacted 
in the WindmUl-yard, where Captain Seaver held his quar- 
ters. Some of the yeomen at last became disgusted with 
the cruelty with which the law dealt with men for the most 
trifling offences. On one occasion when some unfortunate 
offender was tied up in the triangle, some of the yeomen 
were told off to inflict the lashes ; they refused, and one of 
ihem named Kerr, a Protestant, said he would rather throw 
down his arms, than butcher any man, and he kept his 
word. This inhuman and barbarous treatment of an unof- 
fending and industrious people received a very unexpected 
check — a messenger of peace came with the oUve brancL 
Colonel Campbell, uncle to the late Sir CoUn Campbell 
(afterwards Lord Clyde), entered the town with his High- 


land Watch, and stopped the administration of justice that 
would be a rebuke to the most barbarous nation in the 
world. When the Colonel entered the town, there wer« 
three men preparing to receive their share of torture, one ot 
them under the triangle, exclaimed : — ' Oh, Saviour of the 
world, have mercy on me.' A bystander replied — ' Call 
on Seaver of the Bog, for he's the man to-day.' The 
Colonel's attention was attracted by the crowds of people 
passing his hotel windows, and upon going out, he beheld 
the men under the triangle, when he ordered one of his 
officers instantly to cut them down ; and being told that 
Captain Seaver had charge of Dundalk, he said that if this 
barbarous treatment were resorted to again, he would fire 
the town, adding that such conduct was sufficient to pro- 
duce a revolt all over the kingdom. 

' ' There is an anecdote related of Colonel Campbell, worthy 
of record, which truly illustrates the character of the 
soldier as a gentleman, and the gentleman as a soldier, 
and it will agreeably relieve the detail of torture an(? 
blood through which the reader has had to wade. The 
Colonel, who was somewhat eccentric, went out for a 
walk after breakfast one morning, and being anxious to 
avoid the hoUow conventionalities of society, he dressed 
himself as a servant, and went in the direction of Prospect 
House, now tenanted by Mr. EusseR Patteson. On his 
way thither, he overtook a travelling tinker, a native of 
Dundalk, and exchanged the usual civilities of the day, the 
tinker asked him was he going far that road % ' I'm going 
up to this gentleman's house before us,' said the disguised 
Colonel, ' to look for a situation as butler, and if I don't 
succeed there, I must go further.' ' Ai, my poor fellow,' 
said the tinker, ' a gentleman's servant is very good as long 
as he has a master, but when he hasn't, it's a mighty bad 
trade to tramp with.' After some further conversation 
they arrived at a public-house known as 'Hole-in-the-wall.' 
' Come in here, at all events,' said the tinker, ' I have as 
much as wUl stand a treat, and you'll have luck after it.' 
The Colonel hesitated, saying it was too bad to put a pool 
man like him to such expense. ' Nonsense,' said the 
tinker, 'the next village I go to, I'U earn as much as will 
pay my way.' Accordingly they went in, and had a glass 


and a smoke together. 'Now,' said tlie tinker, 'take this 
change, and if you don't succeed there, you'll want a glass 

on the road, for it's d n lonely to be travelling without 

one !' The Colonel protested strongly against this needless 
liberality, but at length he had to yield, and it was then 
Agreed that they should meet there that evening and report 
progress. They separated, and the Colonel having finished 
a long walk, returned to the public-house at the appointed 
hour. In a short time the tinker entered, and conceiving 
that he saw the flush of success beaming in his companion's 
face, caught him by the hand saying, as he shook it, ' I'll 
hold you there was luck in the glass !' ' There was,' said 
the Colonel, 'I got a good situation.' A warm shake 
hands congratulated Campbell, and the tinkefc had another 
round, and was for having more, when the Colonel said it 
was better go into town and have something to eat. 
This was agreed to, and they both marched into Dundalk 
together, when to the tinker's great surprise, the soldiers 
presented arms as they passed, and the Colonel handed him 
into Dransfield's Eotel, where in spite of the physical 
remonstrances of his humble friend, the Colonel introduced 
him to his officers, who were then at dinner, as the honestest 
man he had ever met. Colonel Campbell made his com- 
panion sit down to table with him, and after assuring the 
tinker that he should n&ret know the want of a friend 
while he lived, handed him his purse, and bade him a cor- 
dial good-night. This amusing instance of ' soft solder,' 
new to the experiences of a tinker, which the latter 
took delight in relating for years afterwards, has been pre- 
served among the traditions of the time, and was related to 
the writer of these pages, by a member of the house where 
the interview between the Colonel and the tinker took 




(See p. 217.) 

Clonoulty, Cashel, June 6th, 1868. 
Deae Sir, — I have just read your very interesting work, 
" The Sham Squire," and as I am in possession of a few 
facts that may further illustrate the doings of the notorious 
Sir T. Judkin Fitzgerald, during the year of his shriev 
alty in this county, I feel but too happy in laying them 
before you. My brother, the Rev. Thomas O'CarroU, late 
P.P. of Clonoulty, who died in 1865, wrote a short memoir 
of several of the priests of this Diocese, who died since 1838, 
the year he began the labours of the mission. The Rev. 
Roger Hayes, P.P. of KnockaviUa, died that year, and from 
the MS. now before me, I give you the accompanjdng ex- 
tract in extenso. — Believe me, dear Sir, &c., 

James 0' Carroll, C.C. 
WLUiam J. Fitzpatriek, Esq. 


" The Rev. Roger Hayes lived in very intimate relations 
of friendship with most of the Protestant gentry of his 
neighbourhood. There was only one among them from whom 
he experienced any harsh^or unkind treatment, namely, the 
notorious Thomas Fitzgerald, afterwards Baronet, who, 
though living in the same parish, and therefore having the 
best opportunity of knowing his loyalty, signalised his year 
of office as high sheriff, by subjecting Mr. Hayes to a series 
of petty persecutions. Mr. Hayes had the misfortune of being 
ediicated in France, and of speaking the language of that 
country with fluency. This was in the mind of Sir Thomas, 
prima facie, evidence of a disloyal and rebellious spirit; so 
that in the wantonness of power, he made a hostile visit at 
three different times to the house of the affrighted priest 
He had him ordered out before him on each of these occa. 
sions, and there, surrounded by his armed myrmidons, threat- 
ened to burn his house, a thatched one, and to tie him up 
to the triangles as a rebel and abettor of rebels, as a con- 


spirator holding treasonable relations with France. Nei thei 
the mildness or the known loyalty of the man, nor the sacred- 
Bess of his office, would, in all probability, have averted the 
execution of Fitzgerald's threats. The priest owed his 
escape more to the fear of displeasing Lord Hawarden, whose 
protestation and friendship he was known to enjoy. 

" If, in consequence of these wanton outrages, any unkind 
feeling towards Sir Thomas Fitzgerald, coiild have lingered 
in the heart of Mr. Hayes, he had in after years had frequent 
opportunities of gratifying it. 

" Thomas Judkin Fitzgerald became a Baronet, had an act 
of Indemnity passed by the Legislature, to protect him from 
the legal consequences of his arbitrary and inhuman con- 
duct during the year of his shrievalty, and settled down as 
an inoffensive country gentleman at his seat at Lisheen. He 
wished that the past should be forgotten, and probably 
feeling that he had sinned against Mr. Hayes, made over- 
tures towards a reconciliation. He was met in the same 
ipirit, and Mr. Hayes and he became friends. 

" Mr. Hayes was wont to dine at his house, and on these 
eccasions was occasionally doomed to witness scenes of vio- 
lent altercation between him and his wife. Lady Fitzgerald 
was a woman of an imperious and overbearing disposition. 
She despised her husband and took every opportunity to 
give expression to her feelings. She would, when in bad 
temper, call him opprobrious names — caU him 'the hangman 
of '98,' — upbraid him with his cowardly cruelties when ia 
power — ^tell him even in the presence of company, that he 
had flogged innocent men, and that the most disloyal of his 
victims were more loyal than himself. On some occasions, 
even at dinner, her violence would carry her so far as to 
fling the plate off which she dined, and its entire contents, 
into the face of her lord. He would weep as a child, and 
implore Mr. Hayes to dine vsith him often, as he had found 
that his presence was a restraint upon his persecutor." 

" Accompanied by his flying column. Sir Thomas Fitz- 
gerald entered the chapel of Gastleincy, within two miles 
of Templemore, on a Sunday during Mass, and standing on 
the platform of the Altar, closely viewed the congregation 
in the hope of detecting some rebellious spirit among them. 


Failing in this, when Mass was over, he betook himself to a 
rustic seat under the shadow of a large tree in the chapel- 
yard, and ordered as many of the affrighted people as he 
pleased to kneel to him, as if he were in the tribunal of 
penance. He then interrogated them as to whether they 
were United Irishmen, or whether there were any in the 
neighbourhood, and the replies he met with in such an un- 
holy tribunal may be easily conjectured. 

" N.B. — ^The foregoingl heard from my brother, who heard 
it from the Kev. Wm. F. Mullally, late P.P. of Anacarty, 
who died in 1864. He heard it from his uncle, the Eev. 
James MullaUy, P.P. of Loughmore and Castleincy in 
1798, and with whom the Eev. Wm. ministered as curate 
for several years. 

James O'Caeeoll." 

Many well authenticated facts might be added in proof 
of the accuracy of the reminiscences furnished by our cor- 
respondent, the Eev. Mr. O'CarroU. We remember to have 
read a letter in the "Memoirs of Sir John Moore," in which 
that humane man describes his arrival with the army at 
Clougheen, and finding, to his surprise, the streets lined with 
peasantry, aU on their knees, and bareheaded. Sir John on 
making inquiry as to the cause, was informed that Mr. 
Judkin Fitzgerald was going through the people on one of 
his scourging expeditions. 


" Four Courts' Marshalsea, 
" 31st December, 1868. 

" SiE, — I trust you will pardon the inquisitiveness of the 
writer, when you learn, that he is at present deprived of 
the liberty essential to legitimate inquiry. In 'The 
Sham Squire,' page 302, fSst Une, 'two gentlemen' are 
described in Mr. Caulfield's letter, as having left bequests 
to the Four Courts' Marshalsea for charitable purposes. I 
am aware that the Sham Squire was one of these; but 
pray who was the other t and the extent and nature of his 


bequest 1 As an intending cultivator of food for the minds 
Df the curious, I am at present breaking up some virgin 
soil, and would claim your indulgence in the form of any 
information you can afford. Title of my forthcoming work 
to be, ' Whitewash.' — Yours respectfully, 

" J. F. Mathews. 

" Wm. J. Fitzpatrick, Esq." 

In answering our Correspondent's query publicly, we 
also, no doubt, satisfy a wider curiosity. The gentleman, 
whom the Governor of the Four Courts' Marshalsea alludes 
to, but does not name, was Mr. Charles Powell, who 
directed that the interest accruing from £800, which he 
lodged in the hands of the Lord Mayor and Corporation 
of Dublin, should be disbursed at the same season, and in 
the same way as the Sham Squire's bequest. The start- 
ling fact transpires, however, on examining the Corporate 
Kecords, that these Civic functionaries squandered the 
principal in convivial and other expenses, and left an 
amount equivalent to the annual interest, as a charge on 
the City Estate ! 

If the unreformed Corporation of Dublin possessed bad 
Lord Mayors, it had also to boast of some worthies and Whit- 
tingtons. Mr. Dalton, when describing Finglas in Ms History 
of the Gowrvty DMin, writes, p. 379 : — " About the same 
time {i.e. 1697), Sir Daniel BeUingham, first Lord Mayor 
of the City of Dublin, granted lands in this parish, then 
of the value of about £60 per annum, and in 1764 consi- 
dered worth £200 per annum, for the relief of poor debtors 
in the City and Four Courts' Marshalsea, and vested the 
same in the Clerk of the Crown, and one of the six clerks 
of the Chancery, as trustees for that purpose. 

"This laudable object, however, was never enforced, and 
the heirs of the trustees have appropriated the property." 

It may not be too late, even at this hour, to uncloak tha 
hidden vampires, and compel them to disgorge their ill- 
gotten treasure ! 



Mr. Geokge a. Orawfokd, addressing us from the United 
Service Club, London, on April 3rd, 1868, observes : — 

" I would venture to surmise that the statement relative 
to Alexander Knox (Sham Squire, 3rd Ed., p. 225), might 
possibly be the better of a closer examination. 

" Sir K. Peel was Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1812 
to 1818, and to this period the circumstances mentioned 
by you should probably be referred. 

" Knox had, I believe, been in early life subject to at- 
tacks of epilepsy, and certainly suffered often from severe 
nervous illness. It is well known how depressing such 
illnesses are to the mind, and how they often induce tem- 
porary hallucination, under the influence of which the 
patient's acts pass beyond the cOiitrol of his ordinary rea- 
son. But whatever substratum of truth there may be in 
the story, professing to come from Knox's medical attend- 
ants (and which you, by the way, have only received at 
second hand), I suspect it has been somewhat exaggerated; 
at any rate, the cause assigned for the act is widely at 
variance with probability. Knox's personal character was 
of an unusually high type ; he had comparatively early 
withdrawn from public life, and thenceforward his studies 
and pursuits were directed in quite a different course. 
It may be added that, in 1812, Knox had arrived at the 
mature age of 54. 

" Since writing the above a passage in the editor's pre- 
face to the 3rd vol. of Knox's Remains (p. xix), has caught 
my eye, and more than confirms my suspicions. 

"'About the year 1803 a brighter period commences. 
His epileptic fits had then entirely left him, and a quieter 
and more settled state of spirits was beginning to dawn. 
In 1803 he made the acquaintance of Peter La Touche, of 
Belle Vue, where, tiQ Mr. La Touche's death, Mr. Knox 
was the almost constant and honoured inmate. And here, 
with scarcely any intervals, and suffering from, little more 
than SLIGHT temporary indispositions, he continued to enjoy 
a moderate share of bodily health, an abundance of tran- 
quil happiness, and a competent degree of animal spirits, 


ill the serenity of a religious life and the agreeable 6xcit«- 
ment of varied intellectual society.' 

" Mr. La Touche died in 1828, and the remarks quoted 
above apply to a period extending from nine years before 
Peel's Secretaryship to ten years after it, and three years 
before Knox's own death, in 1831, aged 73. I should also 
add, that a perusal of his correspondence and other admir- 
able -writings, which date up to the year of his death, show 
that no diminution whatever had taken place in the vigour 
of his intellect or tone of his mind. 

" Under these circumstances I still more than ever sus- 
pect that exact inquiries will show the story related to you 
to be a mere new edition of the three black crows from 
beginning to end." 

•Having enclosed the foregoing document to Doctoi 
M'Keever, a distinguished physician of Dublin, he has re- 
plied in a long letter, of which the following are extracts. 
We re-open the subject with hesitation ; but the accuracy 
of our statement having been impugned, we feel it a duty 
to sustain it : — 

" 7, Cavendish Eow, April 18th, 1868. 

" Alas ! my dear friend, the old Scytheman has of late 
committed such sad havoc among my early friends and 
acquaintances that I know not even one to whom I could 
apply for information on the very delicate subject adverted 
to in the note of your London correspondent. I am, in 
fact, somewhat like Tom Moore's last rose of summer, 
' left blooming alone,' the companions of my juvenile days 
' aU faded and gone !' But such are among the evils of pro- 
tracted existence — ^yet, why indtJge in useless regrets or 
lugubrious retrospects ? Such is our fate, and to it both 
duty and interest compel us to submit. However, ' revenons 
d, nos moutom.' The facts are, I conceive, correctly stated 
in your very valuable work, and were communicated to me 
direct, not second-hand, by Dr. Labatt, a man of high pro- 
fessional eminence, of strict unbending integrity, one who 
would scorn to lend himself to a reckless falsehood, the 
coining of a wicked, distempered brain. The same may be 
said of the late venerable Patriarch, Mr. PeUe, who for 
more than half a century enjoyed a large share of public 


patronage, besides holding the responsible office of Inspec- 
tor-General of Military Hospitals. This amiable excellent 
man lived to the advanced age of 90, and only within the 
last year or two has been called to his great account. 

" As to Mr. Knox having been subject to epileptic seizures, 
such is the very form of constitution in which I would 
expect the morbid hallucination aUuded to, and {en paren 
thise), I may observe, such men have been remarkable fo* 
their refined literary tastes, as well as intellectual * enjou- 
menls ;' witness Julius Osesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, and, if 
I mistake not, the present Pontiff, Pio None. Now, I can 
very well conceive, that as the animal propensities of man 
fetter and control his nobler aspirations, Mr. Knox may 
thus have been enabled to devote his leisure hours to con- 
genial literary pursuits. History presents us with a re- 
markable case of a similar kind (although not seK-inflicted), 

in the person of the .celebrated Abelard.* 

Well, as to age, the mature age of 54 — this I consider 
altogether relative. In most men who have not impaired 
their constitution iu early life, passion and power, I should 
consider in their prime at the period mentioned — ^the more 
likely in this case, as Mr. Knox lived to the advanced ag« 
of 73 

" On the entire, uiy dear friend, I am inclined to think 
it will be found that the account given in your interesting 
book of this melancholy occurrence is the true and correct 
one, and that it is not, as your correspondent would faceti- 
ously represent it, that of tres Mtes noires. 

" But, sad to say, however dishonouring it may be to 
our common humanity, such details furnish ample proof of 
the truth of the axiom, 'Truth is stranger than fiction.' 
"Believe me, your's most truly, 

"Thgs. M'Keevue," 

• The case of Abelard is not in point ; but the History of Origen, 
nn eminent Father of the Church, furnishes 'I parallel. — W. J. F. 



We have received from an ex-member for Limerick an 
interesting letter suggesting a few additional details at p. 
167, •whidi he is so good as to furnish. He writes : — 

" I have been interested and instructed by the perusal 
of ' The Sham Squire,' and I hope it shall be extensively 
circulated in England, where it could not fail to disabuse 
the public opinion of that country of many erroneous im- 
pressions in regard to the qualities and the habits of the 
natives of Ireland, whose distrust in the law of the land is 
not unnatural where the administration of it has been con- 
nected with so much immorality. 

" As you have been evidently anxious to obtain the most 
accurate information relative to parties introduced into your 
narrative, I take the liberty of suggesting an addendum in 
your next edition of a note, p. 167, ' Baratariana.' One of 
■' the trusty friends' of Lord Townshend was Eobert Waller, 
elder brother of George, clerk of the Minutes of Excise. 
He was member of Parliament for the borough of DundaJk, 
then a nomination borough under the control of Lord Roden, 
who was first cousin of Mr. Waller, who subsequently became 
a commissioner of the Eevenue, when those officers had 
been multiplied for the purpose of parliamentary corrup- 
tion. Mr. Waller was created a baronet in 1780, and the 
title is still held by his great-grandson. I remember, in 
my juvenile days, to have seen a fuU-length portrait, at 
Eathfamham Castle, of the beautiful DoUy Monroe, and a 
relative of hers told me that Lord Townshend pretended to 
her aunt, Lady Ely, that his object was to captivate Miss 
Monroe, and prevail upon her to become Lady Townshend, 
a delusion he kept up until Lady Ely had induced her 
lord to give his parliamentary support (about the strongest 
In the House of Commons) to Lord Townshend's adminis- 
tration; but, to Lady Ely's great mortification, the viceroy 
married Miss Montgomery, whose portrait, by Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, was certainly not as handsome as that of MiM 

THE o'hara family. 373 


At the request of the publisher, Mr. W. B. Kelly, we in- 
clude in our Appendix the following able letter, with which 
we have been favoured by Michael Banim, Esq., of the 
" O'Hara Family." The letter is dated Kilkenny, March 
31, 1869 :— 

"I regard the two books, 'The Sham Squire' and its 
companion, 'Curious Family History, or Ireland Before the 
Union,' as first-class historical evidence. You quote in the 
last-named work Byron's adage, that ' reality is more strange 
than fiction.' Both books show the verity of this saying 
with the self-demonstration of an axiom. Until I read 
your revelations, I could scarcely imagine, fabricator of 
fiction as I have been, any thing Mke the intricacy and 
ingenuity of rascality you have exposed to view in the 
Sham Squire and in several of his compeers and abettors. 
But your book is not scandal, but high historical evidence. 
LooMng on the Sham Squire and others whose portraits 
you have limned, in both your books, as the machinery by 
which the governing mechanists of the day manipulated, 
you have shown convincingly, and beyond contest, the mean 
shifts and the low degradation to which the art of govern- 
ing was reduced by bad Statesmen. You have demonstrated 
by your books, that fellowship with the devil in human 
guise was the companionship considered most befitting the 
ruling powers, and regarded as the most efiective machinery 
of government. If the adage, ' Show me your company, 
and ru tell who you are,' be relevant to tiie days of the 
Sham Squire, you have more than suggested that he and 
those who encouraged him were rascals all, root and branch. 
That, in fact, Ireland was under the control of a pack of 
•hounds, who, by themselves and their terriers, looked on 
the government of a country to be a piece of malign spoi-t, 
the country entrusted to them as their game, to be run 
dcra, and, if possible, devoured. You have produced th« 
conviction, that where the agents of authority were em- 
ployed because of their lowness in the moral scale, that the 
employers of such disgusting underlings were as devoid of 


rectitude as their tools, and that disregard of all principles 
of rectitude was the code of rule. 

" Keference to the political surface gives no idea of the 
state of things photographically placed before us in the 
' Sham Squire' and its sequel as the distinct reality ; there 
is no pause for inferences, after your portraitlite of the 
period. There is nothing suppositious ; intrigues and in- 
triguers are stamped -with the impress of reality. Such 
historical portraits as yours are now valued ; it is by such 
startKng revelations as these that the truth wUl guide and 
control the future historian ; theories and disputable asser- 
tions will evaporate before the radiance of the truth. Plain 
statements of proven facts always extinguish the most inge- 
nious false colouring, or the most affluent advocacy. A sen- 
sible jury judges by the evidence, not by the distortions of 
the advocates at either side ; you have arranged and pro- 
duced the evidence in eovit, and the ultimate result will 
be, according to the jurymen's pledge, ' a true verdict ac- 
cording to the evidence.' 

" In this point of view, exclusive of the intrinsic merit 
of your books, regarding them as sun paintings, your two 
works, the ' Sham Squire,' and its sequel, 'Curious Family 
History,' (fee, are invaluable as historic materials. The 
history of Ireland is yet to be written, so far as I have had 
the opportunity of examining ; the books published under 
that title are venomous accusations on the one side, or over- 
strained recrimination and defence on the other. We want 
the cool, dispassionate, and, therefore, conclusive history of 
the country. In my honest judgment, your ' Sham Squire' 
and its equally piquant companion volume, will, in the 
hands of the future historian of our country, throw light 
on the dark period in question beyond any hitherto exist- 
ing intelligence. 

"On this subject, the want of an impressive self-assert- 
ing history of Ireland, I could say much but I will not fur- 
ther indulge my crude observations. I must conclude by 
congratulating you on your success, and by thanking you 
on .my own part, and on the part of our future historian^ 
for your contributions towards an hereafter 'History of 
Ireland.' " 



CoNSPiRATOES and informers will co-exist until the crack 
of doom, and the wider the conspiracy the greater is the 
certainty of detection. Some of the seemingly staunchest 
hearts in Smith O'Brien's movement of '48, were false to 
their chief and colleagues ; and when the crisis came, sug- 
gested to the police magistrates, that in order to preserve 
consistency and keep up the delusion, they ought to be 
arrested and imprisoned.* Even while we write, the ranks 
of the Fenian brotherhood, although knotted as it seemed 
by the most binding oaths of secrecy, are broken and 
betrayed by internal spies. Nor are the informers con- 
fined to Ireland. One of the American correspondents of 
the Times, in a letter dated Philadeljjhia, October 24, 
1865, writes: "The Fenian Congress continues its sessions, 
and has so much business to attend to that they are pro- 
tracted far into the night. The green-uniformed sentinels 
still guard its doors closely, and hope to keep the secret of 
the deliberations within. They have changed their weapons 
to loaded muskets, in order to terrify attempting intruders; 
but their watchfulness is of little avail, for not only are 
there informers inside in the interest of your Government, 
but I learn that others assist in the deliberations who are 
in the interest of our own, and who send daily reports of 
the proceedings to Washington, that the Government may 
know in time the adoption of any measures tending to 
violate the peace between England and America." 

In concluding a book which deals largely with Irish 
informers, we have no desire to convey the inference that 
treachery or duplicity, for what Shakespeare calls " saint- 
seducing gold," is a specialty of the Celtic character. The 
records of every age and nation furnish ample illustrations 
of both, even in the most aggravated form. Philip of 
Macedon said that he would " never despair of taking any 
fortress to which an ass might enter laden with gold." 
Pausanias, King of Sparta, and commander of the Greeks 

* Comrauuieated by F. T. Porter, Esq., ex-police magistrate. 


at the battle of Pktaea, was put to death by his own 
coTmtrymen for intriguing to betray Greece to Persia. 
The physician of Pyrrhus informed the Koman general 
Fabricius, that he was ready to poison his royal master fo! 
pay. Wallace was doubly betrayed, first by his servant, 
and finally by his false friend Sir J, Monteith, who received 
a grant of land, in acknowledgment, from the English 
Privy Council. The published letters of Lord Orrery, son 
of Boyle, the famous Englitih adventurer, confess that he 
was set as a regular spy over the Catholic plantations in 
Clare. King Charles the Second received large douceurs 
from the French monarch, and shaped his foreign policy 
accordingly. Sidney was secretly subsidised by France, 
and Dalrymple's memoirs disclose many similar cases. 
The private secretary of James the Third,* and conductor 
of his correspondence, is found to have been in receipt 
of a debauching pension of £2,000 a-year from the British 
Minister Walpole ! — a fact admitted by Walpole's own son, 
in " Walpoliana." Louis XI. of France, accomplished- his 
ends by bribing the ministers of the King of Castile. The 
publication of the French official records shows to what 
a great extent the members of the English legislature 
were in the pay of Louis XIV. The History of Cockaigne, 
the vile betrayer of the Kev. AVilliam Jackson,f reveals 
that the informers of that time were not confined to 
Irishmen ; and Captain Armstrong, who fattened his sub- 
stance on the blood of the Sheares, did not belong to an 
Irish family. We learn from Napier's narrative of the 
Peninsular war, that Wellington had paid informers on 
Soult's staff, and Soult had similar channels of information 
through officers on Wellington's | staff. Nor does Scotland 

* Also Imown as the Chevalier de St. George father of the Pro. 
tender, Prince Charles Edward. 

t P. 286, ante. 

t The Doke, in one of his conversations with Eogers, describes 
*n informer, called Don Uran de la Eoaa, and sometimes OzMle, 
who, daring the progress of the Peninsular war, was wont to dine 
with the English and the French alternately. " When I was ambas- 
sador at Paris," added Wellington, "he came and begged me to 
make interest with Soult for the settlement of his accounts, 
'How can I?' I said, laughing, 'when we made such use of yoo 
fts we did ?' They were settled, however, if we could believe him. 


seem to have been specially fastidious. In a letter from 
the subsequent Duke of Wellington to James Trail, Esq., 
dated London, 18th March, 1808, he expresses a wish that 
a Scotch clergyman should immediately wait upon him, 
preparatory to proceeding, on a mission of espionage, to 
France and Holland ; and Dr. Madden, in his book on the 
Penal Laws, informs us that this person "was a very 
remorkable man, of the name of Robertson, employed by 
the Duke, on several secret missions of a very question- 
able kind for a minister to have been engaged on." Barry 
O'Meara, the Boswell of Napoleon at St. Helena, was assured 
by that personage that, of the many English spies which his 
executive had in pay, including a number of ladies, of 
whom some were of high rank, one lady especially, of very 
high rank, sometimes got so much as £3,000 a month. We 
could add numerous instances, and, doubtless, stiU more 
startling details of the doings of spies and informers in 
foreign countries woiJd have come to Ught, had the sale of 
a series of secret-service letters and receipts been suffered, 
on February 17, 1866, to take its course at Mr. Sotheby's. 
The papers, which extended from 1790 to 1827, and seem 
to have been sold as waste by an ignorant official at the 
Foreign Office, disclosed some curious instances of secret 
expenditure on the part of English ambassadors abroad; 
but, by command of Lord Clarendon, the lot was with- 
drawn ! 

After his death, a Prenokman came to me in London, and when ho 
had vaponred away for some time, declaring that Ozfelle had won 
every battle and saved Europe, he said, ' Here are his memoirs ; 
shall we publish them or not p' I saw his drift, and said, 'Do as 
yon please ; he was neither more nor less than a spy.' I heard no 
more of them or of him." For full details, see "BeooUeotioas," 
ly Samuel EogerB, pp. 198—201.